The Black Lives Matter movement has lost support among Americans in the past three years, according to a new study released Wednesday by the Pew Research Center.
Pew found that 51% of Americans say they strongly or somewhat support the Black Lives Matter movement. That’s down from nearly 70% of Americans who expressed support for the movement in the aftermath of the 2020 killing of George Floyd and 56% last year, the center said.
The study indicates the decrease is mostly a result of a declining share of White adults who say they support the movement. The overall number of Black and Hispanic adults who expressed support have stayed about the same in the past year, according to Pew.
Eighty-one percent of Black adults said they support the movement. Meanwhile, 63% of Asian adults and 61% of Hispanics said the same, compared with 42% of White adults, the study shows.
When asked which words they believed describe the movement, about a third of Americans said the terms “dangerous” and “divisive” describes it extremely or very well, the study shows.
But there were significant differences among race and ethnic groups. While White adults were more likely to say the words dangerous and divisive describe the Black Lives Matter movement extremely or very well than other groups, 50% of Black adults said the word “dangerous” doesn’t describe the movement too well or at all well, the study shows.
Black, Hispanic, and Asian adults are all more likely than White adults to say the word empowering describes the movement extremely or very well, according to Pew. But overall, about a third or 34% said the same about the word divisive.
Adults younger than 30 were more likely than those in all other age groups to support the movement. The study also indicates a significant division along political ideology.
Eighty-four percent of Democrats and Democratic leaners support the Black Lives Matter movement, compared with 82% of Republicans or Republican leaners who said they oppose it, the study shows.
Americans also expressed their views on the movement’s impact on several issues. The survey shows about 32% of adults said the movement has been highly effective at bringing attention to racism against Black people. Smaller shares of US adults said the movement had a similar impact on increasing police accountability (14%), improving the lives of Black people (8%) and at improving race relations (7%), according to Pew.
These findings are based on a survey conducted online April 10 to April 16 among a randomly selected sample of 5,073 adults in the US, drawn from panels originally recruited using probability-based methods.