A sharp drop in U.S. adults who see progress in civil rights for Black Americans has taken place in the past four years, according to a Gallup report published Sept. 9.
Respondents were asked to answer the following question: “Thinking back over your lifetime, how do you feel civil rights for Black adults have changed in this country – would you say the situation has greatly improved, somewhat improved, stayed pretty much the same, somewhat worsened or greatly worsened?”
Only 59% of all U.S. adults said, “greatly improved” (19%) or “somewhat improved” (40%).
This is a 16-point drop from 2016 and an all-time low since Gallup first polled this question in 1995. It is a 30-point drop from the all-time high of 89% in 2011 when 50% of adults said, “greatly improved” and 39% said “somewhat improved.”
In 2020, 22% said civil rights had “stayed the same,” 11% “somewhat worsened” and 7% “greatly worsened.” Each response is an all-time high in Gallup polling history.
While 65% of white respondents said civil rights for Black adults had greatly / somewhat improved, only 52% of Black respondents did so. Similarly, while 82% of Black adults believe new civil rights laws to address continuing discrimination are necessary, only 53% of white adults think such legislation is needed.
The overall margin of error is plus-or-minus 4%.