Thursday, February 9, 2012

African-American History Month: Statistics from the Census

Black History Week was established in February 1926 by African-American historian Carter G. Woodson, who founded the Association for the Study of African-American Life and History. It expanded in 1976 to a month-long observance, this celebration of the contributions and achievements of African Americans was initially designed to encompass the birthday of the abolitionist orator and journalist Frederick Douglass (1817–1895) on February 14 as well as Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. (From Credo Reference)

The U.S. Census Bureau has assembled a collection of statistics relating to African-American History Month.  A few highlights:

42 million

The number of people who identified as black, either alone or in combination with one or more other races, in the 2010 Census. They made up 13.6 percent of the total U.S. population. The black population grew by 15.4 percent from 2000 to 2010.  Source: The Black Population: 2010.


Percent of Mississippi's total population that was black in 2010. Mississippi led the nation in this category followed by Louisiana (33 percent), Georgia (32 percent), Maryland (31 percent), South Carolina (29 percent) and Alabama (27 percent).  Source: The Black Population: 2010.

2.4 million

Number of black military veterans in the United States in 2010.  Source: 2010 American Community Survey.


Among blacks 25 and older, the percentage with a high school diploma or higher in 2010.  Source: 2010 American Community Survey.


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.  Source: Voting and Registration in the Election of 2008.

$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.  Source: 2007 Survey of Business Owners.

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