Crime, Economic Issues, and Housing Are Black Americans’ Top Concerns: Survey

Crime, Economic Issues, and Housing Are Black Americans’ Top Concerns: Survey
A homeless man holds a sign asking for help in downtown Washington, on April 7, 2015. (Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images)

Violence and crime, the economy, and housing top the list of important community issues for black Americans, according to a survey conducted by the U.S.-based Pew Research Center.

Pew released its report on black identity on Thursday, which drew data from 6,513 panelists who were sampled from Oct. 14 – 17 last year. All respondents were aged 18 and above and living in the United States.

Violence and crime, which includes drug activity, shootings, and theft, are the top concerns black Americans say they are facing in the communities they live in. In total, 17 percent of respondents named crime as the most pressing issue in their communities.

Another 11 percent of black adults said economic issues such as homelessness, poverty, and taxes were most important, while other top issues include housing at 7 percent.

Differences among neighbors due to racism, diversity, or culture were listed toward the bottom of the list at 3 percent, alongside employment and wages at 3 percent. Some 4 percent did not name an issue.

The survey also found that a majority of black Americans say being black is central to how they think about themselves and shape their identities, even as many have diverse experiences and come from various backgrounds. About three-quarters of black people said so despite where they come from, their economic status, or educational backgrounds.

Overall, 14 percent say being black is only somewhat important to their identity and 9 percent say it has little to no impact, the survey found.

“What our data suggests to me is that being black is important to all black people, according to our findings, regardless of the intersections of their identity,” said Kiana Cox, research associate, and co-author of the report. A “majority of black people, 76 percent, said that being black was really important to them.”

Cox, who has worked with Pew Research Center in Washington, D.C., for about four years, said they wanted to make sure they had a large enough sample to “get this kind of nuance within racial and ethnic groups, but also to understand sort of life and society as black people understand it.”

There are 47 million black people in the United States, about 14 percent of the population, according to the 2020 census. Most black adults in the United States were born in the country, but an increasing portion of the population is comprised of immigrants, about 12 percent. Of the black immigrant population, 90 percent were born in the Caribbean or Africa.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

From The Epoch Times