A Pew Research Center survey in January 2016 reveals nuanced statistics on the familiarity of Americans with Muslims and their perceptions of anti-Americanism among Muslims in the United States.
Only about half of Americans claim to personally know someone who is Muslim. Blacks, young people and those with a college degree are more likely than other groups to say they personally know someone who is Muslim. This may be explained, in part, by the demographics of Muslims residing in the US themselves, who make up about 1 percent of the US population, tend to be younger and more highly educated than the US public overall, and in roughly one quarter of responses identify as black or African American.
Although few Americans responded that "almost all" or "most" Muslims in the US are anti-American, perception of anti-Americanism among Muslims appears to vary by the political and religious affiliations and the ages and education of the survey respondents:
- More Republicans and Republican-leaning independents (16%) responded that all or most Muslims in the US are anti-American relative to Democrats and Democratic leaners (7%). Roughly one fifth of conservative Republicans (19%) express this view, compared with 5 percent of liberal Democrats. Conversely, fewer than one third of Republicans and Republican leaners (29%) say that few or none of the Muslims in this country are anti-American, while about half of Democrats (54%)—including 67 percent of liberal Democrats—respond similarly.
- The religiously unaffiliated are more likely than other major religious groups to say that few or none of the Muslims in the US are anti-American (59%). Evangelical Protestants are the least likely to respond similarly (26%).
- The belief that few, if any, US Muslims are anti-American is more common among younger people than among older Americans and among those with high levels of education than among those with less schooling.