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Strengthening Social Security: Views Among African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and White Americans

By: Jasmine V. Tucker
Published: May 2013

To better understand Americans’ views on Social Security and ways to strengthen the program for the future, NASI partnered with Mathew Greenwald & Associates to conduct a public opinion study. This fact sheet builds on the original report (released in February 2013) by examining the similarities and differences in views on Social Security among African American, Hispanic, and white American adults.

Summary: Americans of all racial and ethnic groups want to strengthen Social Security’s finances and are willing to contribute more to the program. African Americans and Hispanics, who are more reliant on Social Security benefits in old age, express higher levels of confidence in and particularly strong support for Social Security. Americans across racial and ethnic lines clearly want to close the system’s projected financing gap and ensure that the program will protect future generations. But rather than doing so in part by reducing benefits, they prefer a package of changes that closes the gap without benefit cuts — and pays for benefit improvements. Americans’ willingness to pay more for Social Security shows that they view it as vital insurance that provides essential economic security for themselves, their families and their communities.