When it comes to perceived political and ethnic conflicts, no public is more divided than Americans: 90% say there are conflicts between people who support different political parties and 71% say the same when it comes to ethnic and racial groups. (Results of a different question asking specifically about conflicts between Democrats and Republicans also found that 71% of Americans think conflicts between the party coalitions are very strong and another 20% say they are somewhat strong. The sense of conflicts between Democrats and Republicans also increased between 2012 and 2020.)
In terms of divisions between people who practice different religions and between urban and rural residents, again, Americans consistently rate as one of the three most divided publics of the 17 surveyed.
Some of these perceived divisions differ by racial and ethnic background. For example, more Black adults (82%) see conflict between people with different ethnic or racial backgrounds than White (69%) or Hispanic (70%) adults.
Another major axis of division in the U.S. is partisan identification. Democrats and independents who lean toward the Democratic Party are much more likely to see conflict between people of different racial and ethnic groups than are Republicans and independents who lean Republican. There are also partisan differences in opinion over whether people who practice different religions or those who live in urban and rural areas have conflicts.
Notably, however, both Democrats and Republicans share a widespread belief that there are conflicts between those who support different political parties. Democrats and Republicans are also equally likely to say Americans disagree over basic facts. For more, see “Americans see stronger societal conflicts than people in other advanced economies.”