Confusion

Here's a weird result Al pointed out from yesterday's NYT race poll. They asked "Just as your best guess, about what percentage of all Americans are black: less than 10%, between 10 and 20%, between 20 and 30%, between 30 and 50%, or more than 50%?." You get these ranges:

White: 1 21 33 33 8 5
Black: 4 24 26 24 17 4

In short, blacks and whites are both massively overestimating the number of black people in the country. That's interesting. And I also think it's interesting how little racial divergence you see in the answers here. My guess would have been that thanks to residential segregation blacks tend to overestimate the proportion of African-Americans in the population while whites would underestimate it. But that's not how it goes.

Presented by

Matthew Yglesias is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

A Stop-Motion Tour of New York City

A filmmaker animated hundreds of still photographs to create this Big Apple flip book

Video

The Absurd Psychology of Restaurant Menus

Would people eat healthier if celery was called "cool celery?"

Video

This Japanese Inn Has Been Open For 1,300 Years

It's one of the oldest family businesses in the world.

Video

What Happens Inside a Dying Mind?

Science cannot fully explain near-death experiences.

More in Politics

Just In