You can now read 10 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

The Boston Globe

Nation

Progress on race, but not enough, poll finds

Fewer than 1 in 3 black Americans and not even half of whites say the United States has made “a lot” of progress toward achieving racial equality in the half-century since the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. declared he had a dream that one day his children would not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

As the nation is poised to observe the 50th anniversary next week of the King-led March on Washington, a poll and an accompanying analysis of racial disparities by the Pew Research Center concludes that while five decades’ progress has been palpable on some fronts, King’s goal remains elusive on others.

Continue reading below

Blacks and whites generally agree that the two races get along well, but about 7 in 10 blacks and more than 1 in 4 whites also concur that blacks are treated unequally by the criminal justice system. A majority of blacks also say they are treated less fairly than whites in public schools and in the workplace.

Although gaps in life expectancy and high school graduation rates have all but been eliminated, disparities in poverty and homeownership rates are about the same. Imbalances in household income and wealth, marriage, and incarceration rates have widened.

The Pew poll says that nearly half of all Americans — 49 percent in all, or 44 percent of whites, 48 percent of Hispanics and 79 percent of blacks — said a lot more progress needed to be made to achieve King’s vision of a colorblind society. Republicans are more likely than Democrats to believe there has been racial progress. Fully 80 percent of all Americans say at least some more needs to be done.

You have reached the limit of 10 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week