Poll: Optimism of whites in US lags blacks by big margin

WASHINGTON (AP) - Americans' attitudes about their economic future are sharply divided by race, with whites significantly less likely than blacks or Hispanics to think they can improve their own standard of living.

A new analysis shows that optimism among minorities now outpaces that of whites by the widest margin since at least 1987.

The analysis - by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research - shows that whites' confidence in their economic future has plummeted in the last decade. Blacks and Hispanics, meanwhile, have high levels of optimism despite being hit hard by the recent recession.

Just 46 percent of whites say their family has a good chance of improving their living standard. By contrast, 71 percent of blacks and 73 percent of Hispanics express optimism of an improved life.