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Exploring Social Issues in the U.S. with Insights from Millions of Digital Conversations

February 22, 2024 | Author: Santiago Hernández

What the analysis of over four million digital discussions reveals about the evolving social issues impacting the overall population, Black American community, and the Hispanic community in the U.S.


Tapping into the digital voice of the overall population, Black American community, and Hispanic community in the U.S., we’ve identified the top social issues discussed in over 4 million public domain digital conversations. Our analysis didn’t end there. We dove deeper, comparing the key social issues from January 2024 and January 2023. This analysis allowed us to track significant shifts and highlight the evolving concerns that are most impactful in these communities today, laying the groundwork for transformative actions fueled by our insights.

Listening to the Voice of the Overall Population

Economy is the top concern among all communities during the month of January 2024, dominating at least 26% of conversations about social issues versus 30% of digital conversations in January 2023. In the first month of 2024, the primary concerns regarding the economy were food prices, job security, and the rising cost of gas.

Black American and Hispanic communities placed a particular emphasis on job security in their online conversations. This concern mirrors findings from our previous study on the challenges faced by U.S. Hispanic/Latinos in securing corporate board positions. These barriers reveal similar employment challenges in a broader sense, pointing to systemic issues in career advancement and access for these groups.

Safety retained its second-place ranking as a top issue in January 2024, maintaining this position since January 2023. The discussions frequently revolved around an increase in overall lawlessness, particularly increased crime rate in cities across the country, marking it as a significant concern. This focus on safety reflects the communities’ need for a secure environment, deeply intertwined with economic stability and job security, pointing to the interconnected nature of these social issues.

Key Takeaway: Economy is the principal issue shared across communities, with job security standing out as the top issue for Black American and Hispanic communities.

Listening to the Voice of Black Americans

Safety has risen to become a prominent topic in online discussions among Black Americans, trailing just behind economic issues. In January of this year, the focus on this topic saw an increase, with conversations emphasizing safety concerns rising to 27% from the previous year’s 22%. These discussions frequently highlight concerns over violent crimes, theft and property crimes, and lawlessness. This trend underscores a pressing need for safety in their communities and increased job security.

Education also stands as a main issue, reflected in 14% of the discussions analyzed in January 2024. These conversations point to achievement disparities, insufficient funding and resources, and biases within educational systems. This echoes the community’s profound need for just and accessible education, spotlighting a demand for resources that not only recognize but actively address these deep-rooted educational challenges.

Key Takeaway: Behind economic concerns, safety and education emerge as the second and third most pressing social issues for Black Americans.

Listening to the Voice of Hispanics

Healthcare has rapidly become a focal point in Hispanic communities, safety to be the second most discussed issue by January 2024. This increase, evident in 21% of conversations, emphasizes concerns about insurance coverage, rising costs, and access to service.

The growing focus on healthcare signals the urgent need for accessible and affordable solutions within the Hispanic community. As healthcare takes center stage, it echoes a broader demand for a support system that addresses both immediate medical needs and the underlying economic and social factors contributing to health disparities, with job security being a significant factor.

Key Takeaway: Healthcare surpasses safety as a main concern in Hispanic communities, underlining the need for accessible, affordable care.

From Data to Action

Our analysis of digital conversations across various communities reveals top social issues that demand recognition today. Economic challenges, particularly job security, are a universal concern, deeply affecting both Black American and Hispanic communities. For Black Americans, the emphasis shifts towards safety, highlighting the need for improved security and justice measures.

Meanwhile, healthcare emerges as a paramount issue for Hispanics, underscoring the urgency for more accessible and affordable medical services. Understanding these concerns offers a clear pathway to meaningful action, urging a collective effort to address the economic, safety, and healthcare needs that are crucial for the well-being and advancement of these communities.

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