Poll: Blacks More Optimistic Than Whites About the Economy

71 percent of Blacks believe their conditions will improve compared to 46 percent of whites.

Posted: 08/01/2013 10:28 AM EDT

Although the unemployment rate for African-Americans is almost twice the national rate, their attitudes toward future economic prosperity remains more optimistic than those of whites. 

A new poll conducted by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that 46 percent of whites believe their standards of living can change, while 71 percent of African-Americans and 73 percent of Hispanics believe their lives will improve.

As President Obama presents his latest efforts for economic improvement for Americans, these numbers show the widest gap in attitudes toward the economy between whites and Blacks since 1987. 

The survey also showed that Blacks were positive about their present financial conditions, not just the future. 

Associated Press reports:

For the first time since 1972, the share of blacks who reported that their financial situation had improved in the last few years surpassed that of whites. The tip occurred in 2010, when the percentage of whites reporting an improvement to their financial situation fell to 24 percent vs. 30 percent for blacks.

"In the minority community, as perceptions of discrimination lessen a bit with the election of an African-American president, people see a greater ability to succeed," said Mark Mellman, a veteran Democratic consultant who closely tracks voter sentiment. "Many working-class whites, on the other hand, see dwindling opportunities as manufacturing and other jobs that once enabled them to get ahead just aren't available.

Read full story here.

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(Photo: AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

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