While the average Black American has eight White friends, and Latin people in the USA have an average of 19 White friends, the typical White American only has one friend each from Black, Latin, Asian, mixed race, and other racial minorities.
Drawing on a nationally representative dateset (the 2013 American Values Survey, N=2,317 people), research by the Public Religion Research Institute finds that finds 91% of White people’s friends are White. On average, the rest of their friends include only 1 Black person, 1 Latin person, 1 Asian person, 1 mixed race person, 1 other race person, and the rest are unsure. In contrast, 83% of Black people’s friends are Black, and 64% of Latin people’s friends are Latin, and both Black and Latin people have more racial variability amongst the rest of their friendship networks.
Looking deeper at close friendships where people discuss important matters, 75% of White people have “entirely White social networks without any minority presence.”
Researcher Robert Jones and colleagues argue the lack of diversity amongst White social networks has a negative impact on civil society. White people lack a personal connection to Black history and culture because they don’t engage adequate information on these issues. As a result, they do not fully recognise the marginalisation that Black people experience. As such, Jones argues, White people are not “socially positioned” to understand the significance of events at Ferguson and other racial justice and civil disputes.Continue reading White People’s Friendships are Racially Limited