Numeracy about minority populations: Americans' estimations of local gay population size

L. Marvin Overby, Jay Barth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Previous research on demographic innumeracy has consistently shown that Americans have grossly inflated perceptions of minority population sizes at the national level. We present data from a survey indicating that Americans have significantly more reasonable estimations of homosexuals populations in their local communities. We argue that such findings serve as a needed corrective to the view that Americans are hopelessly ignorant about minority communities, speculate on some of the reasons for the disparate results at the national and local levels, and - after examining some of the correlates of the local estimates - discuss what these findings imply about the differing types and levels of "threat" the public views on the part of different minority groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)194-210
Number of pages17
JournalPolity
Volume38
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science

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