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YouGov: “Amercians tend to vastly overestimate the size of minority groups”

YouGov: “Amercians tend to vastly overestimate the size of minority groups”

“Black Americans estimate that, on average, Black people make up 52% of the U.S. adult population; non-Black Americans estimate the proportion is roughly 39%, closer to the real figure of 12%.”

One of the puzzling things about the left’s enthusiastic embrace of the outright socio-cultural destruction of America has been why so many ordinary people go along with their intentionally divisive, radical socio-cultural agenda, either by shrugging and moving away from it (insulating themselves and their families in various ways), by seeing it and seething in silence, or by actually jumping on the handcart to leftist Hades.

YouGov has done some digging and has come up with part of the answer. The left’s constant haranguing on identity politics and their constant elevation of the loud tiny minorities they claim to “represent” has arguably skewed Americans’ impressions of the actual size of demographic groups. Obviously, this is done on purpose, with the help of the infotainment media and Big Tech speech and thought gatekeepers, and it’s been effective.

YouGov reports:

When it comes to estimating the size of demographic groups, Americans rarely get it right. In two recent YouGov polls, we asked respondents to guess the percentage (ranging from 0% to 100%) of American adults who are members of 43 different groups, including racial and religious groups, as well as other less frequently studied groups, such as pet owners and those who are left-handed.

When people’s average perceptions of group sizes are compared to actual population estimates, an intriguing pattern emerges: Amercians tend to vastly overestimate the size of minority groups. This holds for sexual minorities, including the proportion of gays and lesbians (estimate: 30%, true: 3%), bisexuals (estimate: 29%, true: 4%), and people who are transgender (estimate: 21%, true: 0.6%).

It also applies to religious minorities, such as Muslim Americans (estimate: 27%, true: 1%) and Jewish Americans (estimate: 30%, true: 2%). And we find the same sorts of overestimates for racial and ethnic minorities, such as Native Americans (estimate: 27%, true: 1%), Asian Americans (estimate: 29%, true: 6%), and Black Americans (estimate: 41%, true: 12%).

A parallel pattern emerges when we look at estimates of majority groups: People tend to underestimate rather than overestimate their size relative to their actual share of the adult population. For instance, we find that people underestimate the proportion of American adults who are Christian (estimate: 58%, true: 70%) and the proportion who have at least a high school degree (estimate: 65%, true: 89%).

The most accurate estimates involved groups whose real proportion fell right around 50%, including the percentage of American adults who are married (estimate: 55%, true: 51%) and have at least one child (estimate: 58%, true: 57%).

Here is part of YouGov’s chart:

Here is the full thing (in two parts, view it at YouGov here):

You can just hear the left screaming that these results “prove” white people feel “threatened” by minorities and that due to fear of minorities as a dire threat to their way of life imagine that there are more of whatever given group than there actually are. But that is not logical, nor is it what YouGov found.

YouGov continues:

Misperceptions of the size of minority groups have been identified in prior surveys, which observers have often attributed to social causes: fear of out-groups, lack of personal exposure, or portrayals in the media. Yet consistent with prior research, we find that the tendency to misestimate the size of demographic groups is actually one instance of a broader tendency to overestimate small proportions and underestimate large ones, regardless of the topic.

If exaggerated perceptions of minority groups’ share of the American population are due to fear, we would expect estimates of those groups’ share that are made by the groups’ members to be more accurate than those made by others. We tested this theory on minority groups that were represented by at least 100 respondents within our sample and found that they were no better (and often worse) than non-group members at guessing the relative size of the minority group they belong to.

Black Americans estimate that, on average, Black people make up 52% of the U.S. adult population; non-Black Americans estimate the proportion is roughly 39%, closer to the real figure of 12%. First-generation immigrants we surveyed estimate that first-generation immigrants account for 40% of U.S. adults, while non-immigrants guess it is around 31%, closer to the actual figure of 14%.

Although there is some question-by-question variability, the results from our survey show that inaccurate perceptions of group size are not limited to the types of socially charged group divisions typically explored in similar studies: race, religion, sexuality, education, and income.

Americans are equally likely to misestimate the size of less widely discussed groups, such as adults who are left-handed. While respondents estimated that 34% of U.S. adults are left-handed, the real estimate lies closer to 10-12%. Similar misperceptions are found regarding the proportion of American adults who own a pet, have read a book in the past year, or reside in various cities or states. This suggests that errors in judgment are not due to the specific context surrounding a certain group.

YouGov notes that views on issues related to demographic size are not necessarily affected by learning the actual numbers.

Does correcting misperceptions of group size change peoples’ attitudes on related issues? Current research suggests it does not. In a series of studies (one of which used a survey fielded by YouGov), political scientists John Sides and Jack Citrin attempted to correct inaccurate beliefs about the size of the U.S. foreign-born population, both subtly, by embedding the accurate information in a news story, and explicitly, by providing survey respondents with Census Bureau estimates. They found that while providing this information did somewhat improve people’s knowledge of the number of immigrants in America, they did not make people more supportive of immigration. that knowledge of the actual numbers don’t necessarily affect voter attitudes on issues.

I find this interesting. Setting aside the complicated issue of immigration because YouGov doesn’t seem to make a distinction between widely-supported legal immigration and leftist open borders policies that not only permit but encourage illegal immigration, it would seem that people would be less likely to embrace the destruction of their core values and American principles in the name of accommodating a tiny fraction of the population if they knew just how tiny it really is.


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taurus the judge | March 17, 2022 at 7:15 am

Actually this is basic psyops ( and an old technique well recognized for centuries as effective).

In the human experience, few are true “lone wolves”- we are pack animals and have all of Mazlo’s needs.

This method ( overstatement as a means to influence) has a trifecta of uses ( why its so valuable)

1. It can exert subliminal influence over those who have a personality with a strong desire for “acceptance” by being on the “right side” of an issue as defined by their social circle to adopt the view of the “majority”.

2. By that same token, it can be used to silence or at least partially intimidate those who would express opposing views. ( the old adage of you can force me to do something but you cant force me to “want to”)

3. This is almost more important ( especially in Marxist implementations), when these “exaggerations” are published “officially” over time- they “become” true and serve as baselines, milestones to be overcome ( like a cement straw man ) and the older they get they help rewrite history.

Remember, these false numbers are not accidental nor are they the result of ‘stupid errors”- they are deliberate, calculated and specifically presented with a goal focus and objective in mind and most often combined with shotgun administrations to cover a multitude of media at a time for maximum effect, exposure and cumulative effect. ( saturation method)

    Strelnikov in reply to taurus the judge. | March 17, 2022 at 12:03 pm

    After all, “Bolshevik” does mean “majority”.

    I am so happy to live in a 99.99999% white country: Slovakia. Which also has no mosques.

    Where we do not have to have conversations about race.

    Godagesil in reply to taurus the judge. | March 19, 2022 at 10:10 pm

    It is called PROPAGANDA. The new normal you see on TV is according to Hollywood and Madison Avenue is that the population is 50 percent black and 50 percent white.

    Its pretty simple. Joe Goebbels propaganda minster for the Nazis knew it you repeated a lie often enough it became the truth. We’ve been fed lies since the HIV “epidemic” that gay made up 10-15 percent of the population. That black make up a huge percent rather than the 13% that they actually do. Why? Because they are concentrated in the metro areas, the big markets for commerce and TV. If you live in a metro area you see a lot more African Americans than you do in rural areas or even the suburbs.

    Americans are idiots and extremely gullible. All it takes is a little research to discover the truth. But that is beyond the ability of most Americans. They prefer to be spoon fed their “truths”. The new normal according to our entertainment media is that every other couple is gay, that every other person is of color and that intermarriages are common place which we should know from our own experience is false. but commercials, TV shows and movies want to tell us otherwise.

    I’ve lived with black neighbors my whole life growing up in as a military brat in integrated housing. But since I left college my friends of color were few because there weren’t many of them around in the communities in which I lived. Today in a suburb of Houston I number my black acquaintances and friend on one hand. At work it was the same because I worked in a highly technical field.

    As a manager I hired a number of “people of color” two blacks and two chinese. The funny thing is both the blacks were from Africa, because no African Americans applied because they did not have the schooling or technical background.

    Of course that will be blamed on Whites, not the fact that their parents didn’t help them stay in school and get an education. Such is life.

E Howard Hunt | March 17, 2022 at 7:42 am

This is hate speech.

What this proves is that the media and Hollywood are effective manipulators for the multi-culti Left.
Examine any film, TV show, video clip, printed or online advertisement, etc., and what do you see? You see an America that is black or brown, homosexual, or wishing to be. Whites are not allowed – except white women are allowed as long as they are with a black partner with a mixed-race child. Also, whites are allowed to play the evil antagonist. This is the future that the Left wants for America, they attempt to normalise it through this manipulation of what is “normal.”

    chuckschick in reply to bobtuba. | March 17, 2022 at 8:14 am

    Logged in to make the point you just made. Well put.

    BLSinSC in reply to bobtuba. | March 17, 2022 at 11:26 am

    This is why I never watch any “alphabet” networks! It’s bad enough on the channels for the old movies and then sports! If you were to see tv for the first time you would think that blacks are like 80% of the population and you can’t have a good looking white woman without a black man who might or might not be that attractive. You’d also conclude that most dorky, dumb ss white men require a knowitall chubby black woman to keep him from sticking his hand in the disposal! That old saying about “life imitates art” has been replaced with “art brainwashing of children must look like this”!!

    Tpopz in reply to bobtuba. | March 17, 2022 at 3:34 pm

    In addition to media and hollywood, Douglas Murray makes a similar point with internet search engines in his book “The Madness of Crowds”

    Do a search for strait, white married couples. Within the first page of results, google will include mixed race, gay and lesbian couples. But when the query include one of those minority groups, the results are limited to just those.

If you watch television, blacks make up 60% of the population and LGBTs around 30%.

nordic_prince | March 17, 2022 at 8:41 am

Exactly – if you were to believe Hollyweird, you’d think that America was about 90% black, 90% lgbtq, 90% Muslim, 90% mixed marriages, and 90% any other minority you can think of.

What might help a little is to get some of these people to add up all the percentages that they think are real and see if they add up to over 100%. The sad thing is even with that, some might not see what’s logically wrong with that.

If black Americans think they are 52% of the population why do they think they are a minority?

    oldvet50 in reply to Martin. | March 17, 2022 at 1:50 pm

    Because that’s where the money is.

    Dathurtz in reply to Martin. | March 17, 2022 at 2:40 pm

    Because math is racist, that’s why!

    healthguyfsu in reply to Martin. | March 17, 2022 at 3:18 pm

    Other people nailed it….because racism and privilege.

    Another reason they likely overestimate their percentage is because they are very racist and mostly uncomfortable around members of other races. What they see every day is mostly the small tribe that they surround themselves with.

      gospace in reply to healthguyfsu. | March 17, 2022 at 7:51 pm

      True and not true. I live 40 miles Rochester NY- population 39% black, the largest share of blacks in the area. And they’re concentrated in areas that are more than 80% black. And some of them, like many city dwellers, never or rarely leave the area they’re in. Monroe County, which contains Rochester, is 70% white, and blacks make up 14% of the country population- mostly in- Rochester. I live in the next county over- only 90% white, 3% black. And my town- 92% white, and between black and mixed race together- 2.6%.

      Everyone in our county and town passes through Rochester every now and again. We rarely see anyone from Rochester or Syracuse in my town.

      A while back someone told a story about a color guard detachment sent from Fort Lewis WA to a small town far more inland. As they travelled the blacks in the guard were getting more and more agitated, and even moreso after they arrived. The OIC asked them- “What’s going on?” And they answered- “What happened to all the black people here?” There were none! From what he said they were skeptical when told that nothing happened to them, but they were never there to begin with.

Overestimate the size of various groups without being corrected and it’s easy to see how one can be disappointed that a particular institution doesn’t ‘look like’

WasTaiwanese=NowFullAmerican | March 17, 2022 at 9:41 am

Squeaky wheels get the oil.

2smartforlibs | March 17, 2022 at 9:48 am

The reason they do is the propaganda machine. Coverage of BLM, gays on every show and movie all this stuff adds up to a narrative. It also helps convince you that you are alone.

If you add up Jews, muslims, and atheists, there’s almost no room for Christians and LDS. Negative room if they had asked how many Hindu or Buddhist. I saw the numbers on another blog yesterday.

retiredcantbefired | March 17, 2022 at 11:30 am

Do any of the participants in this poll wonder why a bunch of their estimates add up to more than 100%?

In my SCORCHED EARTH Policy for the next R Administration, all this will be discussed on NATIONAL TV – ALL CHANNELS – EVEN OFRA!!! Americans will be TOLD THE TRUTH about how FEW “trans” and “alphabet people” there are and how Our Nation has been ignoring or even PUNISHING the vast majorities due to these vast MINORITIES! And it must STOP and it does – ON DAY ONE! We have all kinds of laws about discrimination, except to protect THE MAJORITY, which happens to be white! We can still sympathize with those who are mentally ill and offer treatments, but SHOULD NOT OFFER INCENTIVES!!! I’m nearly 70 and have seen ENOUGH of WOKE!!

Obviously, these people are getting all their impressions on minorities from commercial TV. If that is their only source, I’m surprised they didn’t think blacks were a majority in this country and approximately half of all relationship were interracial and, of the remaining half, most were same sex.

“Amercians [sic] tend to vastly overestimate the size of minority groups”
That’s because so many of us make the estimation using our ears.

“Black Americans estimate that, on average, Black people make up 52% of the U.S. adult population”
SMH pure ignorance.

Amercians tend to vastly overestimate the size of minority groups”

I’ve seen enough pictures of these people and I can say with confidence that most of these minority groups have a serious obesity problem. We are NOT overestimating their size.

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