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.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Sociology and Political Science