Most Americans express positive views of country’s growing racial and ethnic diversity
A majority of Americans continue to say the United States is a better place to live as a result of its growing racial and ethnic diversity.
About six-in-ten U.S. adults (58%) say that having an increasing number of people of different races, ethnic groups and nationalities in the U.S. makes the country a better place to live; just 9% say it makes the country a worse place to live, while about three-in-ten (31%) say it doesn’t make much difference either way, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in April and May. These attitudes are only modestly changed from last year.
There remain wide differences in these views by party and ideology. Seven-in-ten Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents say growing diversity in the U.S. makes it a better place to live, including 78% of Democrats who describe themselves as liberal. A smaller majority of conservative and moderate Democrats (66%) say the same.
By comparison, about half of Republicans and Republican leaners (47%) see a positive impact of growing diversity in the U.S.; 37% say it doesn’t make much difference, and another 14% say it makes the country a worse place to live. While positive views among Republicans vary little by ideology, negative views are somewhat more widespread among conservative Republicans than moderate and liberal Republicans. About one-in-six conservative Republicans (17%) say growing racial and ethnic diversity makes the country worse, while just 7% of moderate and liberal Republicans agree.
Partisans also differ in the importance they give to living in a racially and ethnically diverse community: Democrats are about twice as likely as Republicans (75% to 38%) to say this is very or somewhat important to them, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted earlier this year.
Across all age groups, about half or more say increasing diversity makes the country a better place to live. However, 15% of those 65 and older say growing ethnic diversity makes the U.S. a worse place to live, the highest among age groups.
About eight-in-ten adults with postgraduate degrees (81%) say growing diversity makes the country a better place to live. Smaller, though sizable, majorities of college graduates (70%) and those with some college experience (61%) say the same. Among those with a high school degree or less education, attitudes are divided: While 45% say growing diversity makes the country a better place, 42% say it doesn’t make much difference and 11% say it makes the country worse.
Hannah Fingerhut is a research analyst focusing on U.S. politics and policy at Pew Research Center.