The Opportunity Survey: Understanding the Roots of Attitudes on Inequality, Langer Research Associates of New York, The Opportunity Agenda (2015)

White Papers and Reports

This report is based on a national public opinion survey of more than 2,000 Americans regarding the values, basic orientations, and experiences that shape their attitudes toward inequality and how they translate into public support for a range of issues, including poverty, criminal justice, immigration policy, and housing.

Key findings of the survey include:

•   90% of Americans see discrimination against one or more groups as a serious problem, and over 60% believe inequality of opportunity is unacceptable.

•   Americans are concerned about inequality and 80% believe that society functions better when all groups have an equal chance in life.

•   6 in 10 Americans say that they have personally experienced unequal treatment based on race, ethnicity, economic status, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, or accent.

•   Those who have experienced discrimination are more likely to view discrimination as a serious problem and more willing to take action to improve opportunities.

•   75% of Americans think unequal treatment of poor people is a problem.

•   71% believe that trying new ways of doing things is more important than maintaining tradition.

•   There is a pattern of cross-issue support for opportunity-expanding solutions, indicating the potential for broad coalitions and voting blocs that transcend specific policy debates.

• Particular life experiences and values predict willingness to take action on behalf of groups or on specific issues.

The survey profiles key audiences—totaling 60% of the American public—that can be moved to support social justice issues and motivated to take action to advance greater and more equal opportunity.