Do You Have Friends of a Different Race? Many Americans Don't

Poll shows Americans are divided on which races they associate with.

President Barack Obama speaks in the Brady Press Briefing room of the White House in Washington, Friday, July 19, 2013, about the verdict in the Trayvon Martin case. Obama spoke in a surprise appearance Friday at the White House, his first time appearing for a statement on the verdict since it was issued last Saturday. (National Journal)

The United States still remains widely segregated — not by law, but by who people call friends.

A new poll from Reuters shows that around 40 percent of white Americans and 25 percent of non-white Americans have friends exclusively of their own race. Even at work, where people may not have a choice of who they interact with, 30 percent of Americans are not mixing with people of a different race.

In the aftermath of the George Zimmerman trial — where a mostly white jury acquitted the former neighborhood watch volunteer who shot and killed a black teenager — President Obama called on the country to reevaluate the state of race relations in this country. He argued that there is still more work that Americans need to address, and that racism still exists.

Some racial groups are more likely to associate with people of a different race. The poll shows that only a tenth of Hispanics don't have friends of a different race. Additionally, for those Hispanics that have a spouse or partner, about half of them are in relationships with non-Hispanics. Compare this to only a tenth of white and black Americans who are in relationships with someone of a different race.

Younger people, though, seem more likely to develop relationships with people of different races. Among those polled between the ages of 18 and 29, around a third have a partner or spouse of a different race. For those Americans above that age-range, just around a tenth would answer the same way.

The poll has been ongoing since January 2012 as part of a broader project by Reuters. These latest figures were evaluated from online surveys among 4,170 Americans between July 24 and August 6.