A recent survey by The New York Times and Morning Consult found that we have a lot less diversity in our friendships than we may initially think.
The study found that outside of race, people generally are friends with people just like them—specifically when it comes to education level, income and political party affiliation.
The study looked at 2,000 registered voters in the United States and asked them questions about their five closest friends.
When voters without a college degree, with a four-year degree and with a post-grad degree were asked how many of their five closest friends had a four-year degree, the differences were stark. For voters without a degree, 31 percent said none of their five closest friends had a degree and only 7 percent said all five friends had a degree, with ranging answers for having between one and four friends with a degree.
Five percent of voters with a degree said none of their friends had a degree, while 29 percent said all five of their friends had one. For voters with a post-graduate degree, 8 percent said not one of their five closest friends had a degree and 32 percent said all five friends had one.
Based on the data, it seems that the more formal education a person has, the more insulated they become in having other friends with formal educations.
Republicans and Democrats are roughly even in their tendencies for their closest friends to share their party affiliation.
When asked how many of their five closest friends were Republicans, Democratic women overwhelmingly said none at 43 percent, with only 3 percent answering all five friends. Republican men were the most insulated, with only 5 percent answering that none of their friends were Republicans, and 30 percent saying all five of their closest friends were Republicans.
Conversely, when asked how many friends were Democrats, Republican men and women said none of their closest friends were at 32 and 29 percent, respectively. Democratic men and women both answered similarly with 7 percent of both saying none of their closest friends are Democrats and 31 percent of men and 35 percent of women saying all five of their closest friends were Democrats.
###Income and Race
Unsurprisingly, income levels among close friends is also insulated. About 40 percent of people making more than $100,000 say none of their five closest friends make less than $50,000. About 30 percent of those making less than $50,000 say that all of their closest friends are at about the same income level.
Forty-eight percent of the white people surveyed say all of their five closest friends are white. Among black people, 36 percent reported that their five closest friends are black and 31 percent say none of their five closest friends are white.