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Poll: Majority of Americans think race relations are generally good

By Sarah Dutton, Jennifer De Pinto, Anthony Salvanto and Fred Backus

Nearly fifty years after the passage of the Civil Rights Act, almost six in 10 Americans (59 percent) say race relations in this country are generally good, and just a third describes them as generally bad. These percentages are reversed from the 1990s, but have remained fairly consistent for the past few years. Positive views of race relations reached a high point in April 2009 when 66 percent said race relations were good.

Whites and blacks are nearly in agreement in their views; majorities of both call race relations generally good (60 percent of whites, 55 percent of blacks).

On the issue of racial discrimination, just over half of Americans, 52 percent, think there is real hope of ending it altogether, while nearly as many -- 46 percent -- think there will always be a lot of prejudice and discrimination. Still, views are more hopeful now than they were in 1992 when only 40 percent said there was a real hope of ending discrimination.

On this question, there are sizable differences in the views of whites and blacks. Blacks are less likely than whites to see real hope of ending racial discrimination; 61 percent of African-Americans think it will always exist, compared to just 44 percent of whites.


This poll was conducted by telephone March 26-30, 2014 among 1,017 adults nationwide. Data collection was conducted on behalf of CBS News by Social Science Research Solutions of Media, Pa. Phone numbers were dialed from samples of both standard land-line and cell phones. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus three percentage points. The error for subgroups may be higher. Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish. This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

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