To recall and celebrate the positive contributions to our nation made by people of African descent, American historian Carter G. Woodson established Black History Week. The first celebration occurred on Feb. 12, 1926. For many years, the second week of February was set aside for this celebration to coincide with the birthdays of Black abolitionist/editor Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. In 1976, as part of the nation’s bicentennial, the week was expanded into Black History Month.
Number of black military veterans in the United States in 2005. More military veterans are black than any other minority group. (Source: 2005 American Community Survey. Data pertain to blacks of one race only.)
Among blacks age 25 and older, the proportion that had at least a high school diploma in 2005. In states such as Colorado, the proportion was even higher – 90 percent. (Source: 2005 American Community Survey)
Percentage of blacks age 25 and older who had a bachelor’s degree or more in 2005. In many states, the rate was higher. Twenty-six percent of blacks this age in Colorado, for instance, had this level of education. (Source: 2005 American Community Survey)
Among blacks age 25 and older, the number who had an advanced degree in 2005 (e.g., master’s, Ph.D., M.D. or J.D.). Ten years earlier — in 1995 — only 677,000 blacks had this level of education.
Number of black college students in fall 2004. This was an increase of roughly 1 million from 15 years earlier.
Revenues for black-owned businesses in 2002, up 24 percent from 1997. The number of black-owned businesses totaled 1.2 million in 2002, up by 45 percent since 1997. Black-owned firms accounted for 5 percent of all nonfarm businesses in the United States.
The number of black-owned firms in New York in 2002, which led all states. New York City alone had 98,080 such firms, which led all cities.
The number of black-owned firms operating in 2002 with receipts of $1 million or more. These firms accounted for 1 percent of the total number of black-owned firms in 2002 and 55 percent of their total receipts, or $49 billion.
The number of black-owned firms with 100 or more employees in 2002. Firms of this size accounted for 24 percent of the total revenue for black-owned employer firms in 2002, or $16 billion.
For more information on the data in this section, see <http://www.census.gov/prod/ec02/sb0200csblk.pdf>
The annual median income of black households in 2005. In constant dollars, this is up from $25,642 in 1985.
The 2005 median earnings of black men 15 years old and over who worked full time, year-round. This compares to the median earnings of $29,672 for corresponding black women.
Poverty rate in 2005 for those reporting black as their only race. This rate was down from 31.3 percent in 1985.
The percentage of blacks (who reported no other race) lacking health insurance in 2005. The rate was unchanged from 2004.
As of July 1, 2005, the estimated population of black residents in the United States, including those of more than one race. They made up 13.4 percent of the total U.S. population. This figure represents an increase of half a million residents from one year earlier.
The projected single-race black population of the United States as of July 1, 2050. On that date, according to the projection, blacks would constitute 15 percent of the nation’s total population.
Number of states with an estimated black population on July 1, 2005 of at least 1 million. New York, with 3.5 million blacks, led the way. The 17 other states on the list were: Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.
The number of blacks in Cook County, Ill., as of July 1, 2005. Cook led all the nation’s counties in the number of people of this racial category. Los Angeles County, Calif., also topped the 1 million mark.
The proportion of the black population under 18 as of July 1, 2005. At the other end of the spectrum, 8 percent of the black population was 65 or older.
Nationally, the percentage of black families containing a married-couple family. (Source: 2005 American Community Survey)
Nationally, the percentage of black households who lived in owner-occupied homes. The rate was higher in certain states, such as Mississippi, where it reached 56 percent. (Source: 2005 American Community Survey)
The percentage of blacks age 16 and older who work in management, professional and related occupations. There are 44,000 black physicians and surgeons, 79,400 postsecondary teachers, 45,200 lawyers, and 49,300 chief executives. (Sources: 2005 American Community Survey and Upcoming Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2007, Table 602.)
Following is a list of observances typically covered by the Census Bureau Facts for Features series:
Editor’s note: The preceding data were collected from a variety of sources and may be subject to sampling variability and other sources of error. Questions or comments should be directed to the Census Bureau’s Public Information Office: telephone: (301) 763-3030; fax: (301) 457-3670; or e-mail: <PIO@census.gov>.