The Wonkblog over at the Washington Post has a pretty interesting write-up of new research from the Public Religion Research Institute. In a study of race and friendship, PRRI found that a large majority (75 percent) of whites have “entirely white social networks without any minority presence.” And, for what it’s worth, the same holds true for less than two thirds of Blacks.
The research went on to state that, in a 100-friend scenario, the average white person has 91 white friends; one each of black, Latino, Asian, mixed race, and other races; and three friends of unknown race. On the other hand, the average black person has 83 black friends, in addition eight white friends, two Latino friends, zero Asian friends, three mixed race friends, one other race friend, and four friends of unknown race.
Ultimately, the average black person’s network of friends is 8 percent white. The average white person’s friend network is just 1 percent black. The Wonkblog illustrated the stats pretty well with this infographic:
Do you think the racial background of a person’s friends is important, does it imply something about that person? Does having a diverse friend network provide special insights into racial matters? Finally, if the average white person has so few black friends, how is that so many seem to have a “best” black friend to excuse their questionable behavior in when it comes to race? Things that make you go “hmmmm.”