7 in 10 Black Americans Say They Have Experienced Incidents of Discrimination or Police Mistreatment in Their Lifetime

Amid weeks of protests over the death of George Floyd that have drawn national attention to issues of institutional racism and police violence, the latest KFF Health Tracking Poll finds that 7 in 10 Black adults say they have experienced serious incidents of discrimination in their lifetime. This includes half who say they have felt their life was in danger because of their race or ethnicity, and about 1 in 5 (rising to 30 percent of Black men) who say they have been a victim of police violence.

When asked about more specific experiences of discrimination or violence due to their race or ethnicity, the disparities are no less stark. About half of Black adults (48 percent), including 60 percent of Black men and 38 percent of Black women, say they have ever been afraid their life was in danger because of their race. This compares to about a quarter (26 percent) of Hispanic adults and 16 percent of White adults.

Black adults are also much more likely than Hispanic or White adults to say they have been denied a job for which they were qualified (40 percent, 15 percent, and 8 percent, respectively) or denied housing they could afford due to their race (26 percent, 8 percent, and 3 percent, respectively).

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