Blacks: U.S. Demographic Snapshot

National Journal
May 16, 2012, 9 a.m.

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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