28% Believe Just About Every Major Problem in America Results from Racial Discrimination

Twenty-eight percent (28%) of voters nationwide believe that  just about every major problem in America results from racial discrimination. A Scott Rasmussen national survey found that 56% disagree and 16% are not sure.

Fifty-six percent (56%) of Hispanic voters see racism as the core issue in just about every major problem. Sixty-five percent (65%) of White voters disagree. Black voters are evenly divided–42% see racial discrimination underlying the nation’s problems while 38% do not.

There is a massive generation gap on the topic.

  • Among the youngest voters (under 25), nearly half (47%) sees racism at the root of major problems. Just 34% disagree.
  • The numbers among those 25-44 are a mirror image of the younger voters perception: 35% say racial discrimination creates most major problems while 46% do not.
  • Two-thirds (66%) of voters 45 and older reject the idea that just about every problem in America results from racial discrimination. Only 20% think it’s the cause.

While a relatively small number see racial discrimination as the root cause of America’s problems, data released earlier showed that 93%  recognize that racism has played a major role in America’s history. However, just 20% believe we should recognize that America was founded on racism and start over with something new.

A separate survey found that 8% of voters nationwide say most of their friends are racist. At the other end of the spectrum, a plurality (46%) says none of their friends are racist. That total includes 59% of Republicans, 44% of Independents, and 35% of Democrats.

Richard Alba, a Distinguished Professor of Sociology at the Graduate Center, City University of New York, has pointed out not neatly divided into easy to define racial categories. One key factor is “a robust development that is largely unheralded: a surge in the number of young Americans who come from mixed majority-minority families.” They “have one white parent and one nonwhite or Hispanic parent.”

Alba lays out his case in an important new book: “The Great Demographic Illusion: Majority, Minority, and the Expanding American Mainstream.”

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Note: Neither Scott Rasmussen, ScottRasmussen.com, nor RMG Research, Inc. have any affiliation with Rasmussen Reports. While Scott Rasmussen founded that firm, he left more than seven years ago and has had no involvement since that time.


The online survey of 1,000 Registered Voters was conducted by Scott Rasmussen from May 13-15, 2021. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Respondents were selected from a list of Registered Voters and through a process of Random Digital Engagement. Certain quotas were applied, and the sample was lightly weighted by geography, gender, age, race, education, internet usage, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population of Registered Voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.

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