Social Distance

The graphs below demonstrate that there has been a change in the social acceptance over time for many groups in the United States.

 

 

Rank of Social Distance for Selected Groups, 1926 – 2001

Group 1926 1946 1956 1966 1977 1993 2001
English 1 3 3 2 2 2 4
American Whites 2 1 1 1 1 1
Canadians 3 2 2 3 3 3
Scots 4 5 7 9 9 6
Irish 5 4 5 5 7 1 5
French 6 6 4 4 4 4 6
Germans 7 10 8 10 11 10 8
Swedes 8 9 6 6 6 5
Dutch 9 8 9 11 8 9 10
Norwegians 10 7 10 7 12 8
Spaniards 11 15 14 14 13 11
Finns 12 11 11 12 14
Russians 13 13 24 24 29 13 20
Italians 14 16 12 8 5 3 2
Poles 15 14 13 16 18 12 14
Armenians 16 17 18 20 21
Czechs 17 12 17 17 22
American Indians 18 20 18 18 10 16 12
Jews 19 19 16 15 15 15 11
Greeks 20 18 15 13 16 14 7
Mexicans 21 24 28 28 26 18 25
Japanese 22 30 26 25 25 19 22
Filipinos 23 23 21 21 24 16
African Americans 24 29 27 29 17 17 9
Turks 25 25 23 26 28 22
Chinese 26 21 25 22 23 20 17
Koreans 27 27 30 27 30 21 24
Asian Indians 28 28 29 30 27 26
Africans 13
Mean (all score) 2.14 2.12 2.08 1.92 1.93 1.43 1.44
Range 2.85 2.57 1.75 1.56 1.38 1.07 .87
Total Number of Groups included 28 30 30 30 30 24 30
Correlation with 1926 rankings .95 .93 .90 .84 .92 .76

 

Mean Social Distance Rankings in 2012 and Comparisons to 2001

 

Rank in 2012 Group Rank in 2001 Mean (SD) +/- vs 2001
1 Americans 1 1.15 .57 +.08
2 Italians 2 1.32 .80 +.17
3 Canadians 3 1.35 .89 +.15
4 British 4 1.36 .91 +.13
5 African Americans 9 1.42 .78 +.09
6 Irish 5 1.46 .94 +.23
7 French 6 1.50 1.03 +.22
8 Germans 8 1.51 1.01 +.18
9 Greeks 7 1.52 1.01 +.19
10 Indians (American) 12 1.57 .94 +.17
11 Africans 13 1.61 .93 +.18
12 Dutch 10 1.62 1.09 +.27
13 Polish 14 1.64 1.08 +.19
14 Puerto Ricans 18 1.64 1.09 +.17
15 Filipinos 16 1.68 1.08 +.22
16 Dominicans 21 1.71 1.14 +.20
17 Chinese 17 1.72 1.04 +.25
18 Other Hispanics/Latinos 15 1.72 1.14 +.27
19 Russians 20 1.73 1.17 +.23
20 Cubans 23 1.74 1.20 +.21
21 Jews 11 1.74 1.11 +.36
22 Jamaicans 19 1.74 1.08 +.25
23 Japanese 22 1.80 1.14 +.28
24 Mexicans 25 1.80 1.29 +.25
25 Vietnamese 28 1.85 1.11 +.16
26 Koreans 24 1.87 1.24 +.33
27 Indians (Inida) 26 1.89 1.22 +.29
28 Haitians 27 1.91 1.27 +.28
29 Arabs 30 2.16 1.55 +.22
30 Muslims 29 2.23 1.52 +.35
All Groups 1.68 .80

Source:  Vincent N. Parrillo and Christopher Donoghue, “The National Social Distance Study: Ten Years Later,” Sociological Forum 28:3 (September 2013); and “Updating the Bogardus Social Distance Studies: A New National Study,” The Social Science Journal 42 (2005): 257-71

 

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