News Column

Americans Still Feel Sting of Discrimination: Harris Poll

February 19, 2014

Staff Reports --


Despite advances made since the civil rights era on the 1960s, many Americans still feel discriminated against, according to a recent Harris report.

The report, " Discrimination is Alive and Well and Living in America," indicates that Hispanics, blacks, people of Middle Eastern descent, women, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual people perceive themselves or others as getting short shrift in at least one area of daily life.

Hispanics are seen as discriminated against in getting jobs as white-collar workers or skilled laborers.

Blacks, meanwhile, are seen as mistreated by police, Middle Easterners are seen as being badly treated by the federal government, and women are seen as underpaid.

LGBT people are seen as least likely to be treated as human beings.

Members of groups are more likely to see themselves as discriminated against, while outsiders are less likely to see it that way.

Six out of 10 U.S. Hispanics feel that Hispanics are discriminated against in the way they are treated by police, while just over half feel they're discriminated against in getting full equality and equal pay.

Blacks overwhelmingly feel they're discriminated against by police (85 percent) and in getting white-collar jobs (70 percent).


The Harris poll was conducted online within the U.S. between Jan. 15-20, 2014, among 2,236 adults aged 18 and over. Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population, according to Harris.

Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online.

Harris says that sample surveys and polls are subject to multiple sources of error that often can't be quantified or estimated, and avoids the phrase "margin of error" as misleading.

Respondents were selected from those who have agreed to participate in Harris Poll surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population.

Source: (c) 2014. All rights reserved.

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