WHAT THE DATA SAY: Large numbers of Americans not convinced systemic racism exists

By: Ray Day


Ray Day 

We wanted to share our latest consumer and business insights, based on research from The Harris Poll, a Stagwell agency.

Among the highlights of wave 142 (fielded Nov. 11-13) in our weekly consumer sentiment tracking:


Today, 86% of Americans are concerned about the economy, inflation and jobs – down 2 points from last week. In fact, all worries we track moderated this week.

    • 83% worry about a potential U.S. recession (down 1 point)
    • 80% about U.S. crime rates (down 4 points)
    • 72% about political divisiveness (down 3 points)
    • 71% about affording their living expenses (down 5 points)
    • 70% about the War on Ukraine (down 2 points)
    • 56% about a new COVID-19 variant (down 3 points)
    • 45% about losing their jobs (down 3 points)
    • 40% about the Monkeypox outbreak (down 4 points)

Inflation and uncertain economic times are keeping more than half of Gen Z living at home with their parents, according to our study with DailyPay.

    • 54% of 18-to 25-year-olds have made the choice to live with their parents given the current economic climate.
    • Only 28% say they are typically able to pay all of their bills on time.
    • 80% feel the economy will either stay the same or decline during the next 12 months.
    • 41% are worried it will be tougher to pay bills due to high inflation, and 38% are concerned it will make buying staples/food more challenging.
    • 78% say they have been able to save less money.
    • One solution: 72% of employed Gen Z members say having access to their pay every day – as opposed to waiting until a scheduled payday – would help them pay bills on time.

Despite the toll the pandemic and its economic fallout have had on communities of color during the last two years, more than 40% of Americans today are not convinced that systemic racism exists, according to our “The State of Equity In America” report with U.S. News & World Report.

    • In fact, nearly a quarter of Americans believe there absolutely is not systemic racism in America, while another 17% are unsure.
    • Nearly half (47%) of White Americans remained unconvinced.
    • More than 80% of Black Americans believe it does, as well as more than 70% of Asian or Pacific Islanders and nearly 70% of Hispanics.
    • For business: Only about one fifth to one quarter of respondents believe companies have put in a “very good effort” during the past two years to advance racial equity.
    • Both White Americans and people of color have less trust in government to make meaningful changes in advancing equity and more faith in small businesses, nonprofits, and educational and health care entities.
    • Among people of color, 73% trust small businesses to some degree to advance equity – the highest level of support given to a range of institutions that also included corporations and religious groups – as do 78% of White Americans.

The scales continue tipping toward electric vehicles – with 51% of U.S. adults saying they would like to buy an electric vehicle as their next car, according to our survey with Protocol.

    • Millennials are the most likely to be ready, with 61% saying they want an EV.
    • 72% of all people think EVs will become more common than traditional gas-powered vehicles in their lifetime.
    • We also surveyed consumers on their attitudes toward public transit as an alternative mode of transport. A quarter of all respondents report regularly using public transportation, with the largest segment in the Northeast.
    • 64% view public transportation where they live as trustworthy.
    • 38% of U.S. adults are less willing to use public transportation post-COVID, including 44% of Northeast residents.
    • 46% of Gen Z respondents are less willing to use public transit as a result of the pandemic.

One in four Americans are increasing charitable giving due to inflation, according to our survey with Vanguard Charitable. In addition, more than half (60%) of American donors say rising inflation is having no impact on their giving.

    • 45% of American donors have an annual charitable giving budget, similar to the year prior (44%).
    • 74% of Americans donated to charity in past 12 months, with younger Americans (ages 18-44) being more likely to say they donated more money than they normally would as a result of inflation, compared to older Americans (ages 45+) (18% for younger versus 8% for older).
    • 86% of Americans who have a charitable giving budget say it is important for them to support charities financially during times of economic uncertainty.
    • Donors who have a charitable giving budget are two times more likely to say they plan to give more than normal compared with donors without a charitable giving budget (20% versus 10%).

In case you missed it, check out some of the thought-leadership and happenings around Stagwell making news:

As always, if helpful, we would be happy to provide more info on any of these data or insights. Please do not hesitate to reach out.

Thank you.



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