Socially distant: How our divided social networks explain our politics

In the midst of a heated presidential election, a once in a generation pandemic, and major economic disruption and social unrest, it is more important than ever to understand why Americans support the policies they do.

77 %

Of white Americans report that their core social network includes only people who are also white

A new report explores the racial and political self-sorting that happens among Americans’ closest relationships and what this means for our politics and public life.


Recent Research

The benefits of going to a place “where everyone knows your name”

Daniel A. Cox Nov 23, 2020

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, these community spaces look a little different right now. Coffee shops, restaurants, and parks have more importance than ever in connecting us to our community and to the world outside our homes.

Hopes and challenges for community and civic life: Perspectives from the nation and Indiana

Daniel A. Cox, Karlyn Bowman, and Jacqueline Clemence Nov 18, 2020

COVID-19 has created tensions between urban centers hit harder by the virus and small towns and rural areas. Despite this, recently released surveys find Americans expressed many of the same priorities for their communities before COVID-19, revealing we may not be as divided as we think.


The American Perspectives Survey

The American Perspectives Survey (APS) is a series of national opinion surveys devoted to exploring the American experience — the way Americans live, work, and socialize; our everyday concerns and challenges; and the values that define us. These surveys aim to move beyond national headlines and predictable political debates to better understand not only the differences between us, but also the things we have in common.


Research Areas


American Life in Numbers

Our monthly newsletter provides insights about American daily life you won’t find anywhere else.