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The Next America - Statistics 2012 / Statistics

Blacks: U.S. Demographic Snapshot

photo of Doris Nhan
May 16, 2012

The Basics

42.5 million: The number of people identifying as black or African-American in the U.S. African-Americans make up 13.7% of the U.S. population. 

31: The median age for African-Americans. The cohort is younger than the general U.S. public, which boasts a median age of 37.3.

 

32.7: The percentage of African-Americans 25 years and over that some college or an associate’s degree, the largest plurality for educational attainment. The next largest plurality, 31.2 percent, have a high school diploma, followed closely by 17.4 percent with less than a high school diploma. About 12 percent have a bachelor’s degree.

82.6%: The percentage of African-Americans who possess at least a high school diploma or higher. 

38.9 million: The number of African-Americans who were born in the U.S. Just 9 percent of blacks or African-Americans say they were born outside of the country.

29.5%: The largest plurality of African-Americans are employed in the educational services, health care or social assistance industries. This is followed by retail trade (11.2 percent) and arts, entertainment/accommodation and food services (9.6 percent).

$33,460: The median household income for African-Americans. That’s much lower higher than the general U.S. population at $50,502.

28.1%: The percentage of African-Americans living in poverty status. That’s slightly lower than the U.S. average at 15.9 percent.

Other Facts of Note

15%: The rate at which the total population of those identifying as black-alone and black in multiracial combination grew from 2000 to 2010. The black-alone population's rate was a slower 12 percent. Both exceeded that of the overall U.S. population, about 9.7 percent.

75.5%: The change from 2000 to 2010 in the number of people in the U.S. who identified as black in combination with one or more other races. This population grew at a much faster rate than did the black-alone population.

23%: The percentage of people identifying as black in multiracial combination who reported living in the West, the largest proportion of any regional area. They were more regionally dispersed than the black-alone population, 55 percent of whom reported living in the South.

Data based on the 2011 American Community Survey and the 2010 Census brief. Data includes those who identified as black or African-American alone or in combination with some other racial/ethnic group.

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