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African American History Month – by the numbers

  • Written by George Curry
  • Published in News

5Bythenumbers-200The U.S. Census Bureau has released the following figures about Black America to coincide with African American History Month. I found them interesting enough to share.


43.9 million – The number of blacks, either alone or in combination with one or more other races, on July 1, 2011, up 1.6 percent from the census on April 1, 2010.

77.4 million – The projected black population of the United States (including those of more than one race) for July 1, 2060. On that date, according to the projection, blacks would constitute 18.4 percent of the nation's total population.

3.7 million – The black population in New York, which led all states as of July 1, 2011. Texas had the largest numeric increase since April 1, 2010 (84,000). The District of Columbia had the highest percentage of blacks (52.2 percent), followed by Mississippi (38.0 percent).

1.3 million – The black population in Cook, Ill., which had the largest black population of any county in 2011. Fulton, Ga., had the largest numeric increase since 2010 (13,000). Holmes, Miss., was the county with the highest percentage of blacks in the nation (82.9 percent).

Serving our nation

2.3 million – Number of black military veterans in the United States in 2011.


82.5 percent – The percentage of blacks 25 and older with a high school diploma or higher in 2011.

18.4 percent – The percentage of Blacks 25 and older who had a bachelor's degree or higher in 2011.

1.6 million – Among blacks 25 and older, the number who had an advanced degree in 2011.

3.1 million – Number of blacks enrolled in college in 2011, a 74.0 percent increase since 2001.


11.1 million – The number of blacks who voted in the 2010 congressional election, an increase from 10 percent of the total electorate in 2006 to 12 percent in 2010.

55 percent – Turnout rate in the 2008 presidential election for the 18- to 24-year-old citizen Black population, an 8 percentage point increase from 2004. Blacks had the highest turnout rate in this age group.

65 percent – Turnout rate among Black citizens regardless of age in the 2008 presidential election, up about 5 percentage points from 2004. Looking at voter turnout by race and Hispanic origin, non-Hispanic whites and Blacks had the highest turnout levels.

Income, poverty and health insurance

$32,229 – The annual median income of Black households in 2011, a decline of 2.7 percent from 2010

27.6 percent – Poverty rate in 2011 for Blacks.

80.5 percent – Percentage of blacks that were covered by health insurance during all or part of 2011. (Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2011)

Families and children

61.9 percent – Among households with a black householder, the percentage that contained a family in 2012. There were 9.7 million black family households.

45.2 percent – Among families with Black householders, the percentage that were married couples in 2012.

1.2 million – Number of black grandparents who lived with their own grandchildren younger than 18 in 2011. Of this number, 48.5 percent were also responsible for their care.


43.4 percent – Nationally, the percentage of households with a householder who was black who lived in owner-occupied homes in 2011.


28.2 percent – The percentage of Blacks 16 and older who worked in management, business, science and arts occupations.


$135.7 billion – Receipts for black-owned businesses in 2007, up 53.1 percent from 2002. The number of black-owned businesses totaled 1.9 million in 2007, up 60.5 percent.

37.7 percent – Percentage of black-owned businesses in 2007 in health care and social assistance, repair and maintenance, and personal and laundry services.

10.6 percent – Percentage of all black-owned firms operating in 2007 in New York, which led all states or state-equivalents. Georgia and Florida followed, at 9.6 percent and 9.4 percent, respectively.

(George E. Curry is editor-in-chief of the National Newspaper Publishers Association News Service (NNPA.) He can be reached via, www.georgecurry.com. You can also follow him at www.twitter.com/currygeorge.)

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