Just ran across this hunk of data journalism from the Washington Post:
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. The average black person, on the other hand, has 83 black friends, eight white friends, two Latino friends, zero Asian friends, three mixed race friends, one other race friend and four friends of unknown race.
Going back to Chris Rock’s point, the average black person’s friend network is eight percent white, but the average white person’s network is only one percent black. To put it another way: Blacks have ten times as many black friends as white friends. But white Americans have an astonishing 91 times as many white friends as black friends.
100 friends and only one black person! That’s pretty white!
It’s worth taking a look at the actual study they’re writing about. They didn’t ask people to list their top 100 friends. They said to list at most seven people, using this prompt:
From time to time, most people discuss important matters with other people. Looking back over the last six months – who are the people with whom you discussed matters important to you?
The white respondents only named 3.3 people on average, of whom 1.9 were immediate family members. So a better headline wouldn’t be “75% of white people have no black friends,” but “75% of whites are married to another white person, have two white parents, and have a white best friend, if they have a best friend” As for the quoted paragraph, it should read
In a 100-friend scenario, the average white person has 57 immediate family members.
(Note: I just noticed that Emily Swanson at Huffington Post made this point much earlier.)