"I actually think that [the United States is] probably in its day-to-day interactions less racially divided," Obama said in the second installment of the interview released on Tuesday.
Speaking with NPR before departing for his December 19 vacation in Hawaii, the president stressed that "the issue of police and communities of color being mistrustful of each other is hardly new."
A recent Gallup poll showed that Americans considered race relations to be at their highest level of importance in the last 20 years.
Meanwhile, a wave of sporadically violent protests calling for accountability and racial equality from law enforcement agencies swept across the United States after Eric Garner and Michael Brown, both unarmed black men, were shot and killed by white policemen. Two grand juries that reviewed the cases opted against indicting officers Daniel Panteleo and Darren Wilson.
Earlier on Tuesday, an autopsy report revealed another unarmed black man, 25-year-old Ezell Ford, was fatally shot in the back by Los Angeles patrolmen at close range on August 11.