African American Men Survey

by Claudia Deane; Drew Altman; Elizabeth Hamel; John Benson; Mollyann Brodie; Richard Morin; Robert Blendon

Jun 1, 2006

A comprehensive survey looking at how African-American men view their lives in the United States and their outlook for the future. The survey gauges the views and experiences of African-American men on marriage and family, education, careers and health, among other issues, and includes comparisons to the views and experiences of African-American women and white men and women. The African-American Men Survey is the 15th survey in a series generated under a three-way partnership between The Washington Post, the Kaiser Family Foundation and Harvard University. The three organizations work together to pick the survey topics, design the survey instruments and analyze the results. The survey's findings were published in the June 4, 2006, edition of The Washington Post. This survey was conducted by telephone from March 20 to April 29, 2006, among 2,864 randomly selected adults nationwide, including: 1,328 black men; 507 black women; 437 white men and 495 white women. Results for total respondents have been weighted so that black respondents are represented in proportion to their actual share of the population. Margin of sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points for results based on all respondents or black men, 5 percentage points for black women and 6 percentage points for white men or women. Hispanics and Asians were interviewed along with white and black respondents, but because of the relative size of those populations, there were not enough respondents to break out separately. The complete survey results and detailed methodology description are available in the toplines document.

  • 62 percent of black men and 60 percent of black women feel that black men face many more obstacles advancing in the workplace than whites. Only 24 percent of white men and 33 percent of white women share this view.
  • Sixty-nine percent of white men and 45 percent of white women think America's economic system is fair to everyone. Only 28 percent of black men and 29 percent of black women agree.
  • Across the four primary race/gender groups analyzed, black men and women are more likely to place great importance on living a religious life.
  • Sixty percent of black men reported being very or somewhat worried about not getting the healthcare they need, compared to 48 percent of white men. Thirty-nine percent of black men are very or somewhat worried about losing their jobs, compared to 21 percent of white men.
  • Seventy-two percent of white men, 69 percent of white women, 60 percent of black men, and 44 percent of black women believe that, considering everything, it is a good time to be a black man in America.