African American Perspectives on the Social Security System - 1998 and 2009

African Americans are more likely than whites to expect that Social Security will be their major source of income during retirement. This was true in both 1998 (35 percent of African Americans versus 17 percent of whites) and 2009 (37 percent of African Americans versus 27 percent of whites). African Americans also are more likely than whites to support the Social Security system as currently structured and to believe that the system should continue to provide the same type and level of benefits. A range of views, however, is held by African Americans and whites on selected proposals for reforming the Social Security system to ensure its solvency.

These findings are from a survey of 850 African Americans and 850 members of the general U.S. population (including 721 white Americans) that was conducted for the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies by Research America between May 21 and June 9, 2009. The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies National Opinion Poll about Social Security, Retirement Savings and the Economic Downturn found many striking differences between African Americans and whites on these topics.

 

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Publication Date: 
Friday, January 1, 2010