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Facts for Features
CB13-FF.02
Jan. 28, 2013

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Black (African-American) History Month: February 2013

To commemorate and celebrate the 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 abolitionist/editor Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. In 1976, as part of the nation's bicentennial, the week was expanded into Black History Month. Each year, U.S. presidents proclaim February as National African-American History Month.

Note: The reference to the black population in this publication is to single-race blacks ("black alone") except in the first section on "Population." There the reference is to black alone or in combination with other races; in other words, a reference to respondents who said they were one race (black) or more than one race (black plus other races).

Population

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.
Source:Population Estimates <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/population/cb12-90.html>

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.
Source: Population projections <http://www.census.gov/population/projections/data/national/2012/summarytables.html>

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).
Source: Population Estimates <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/population/cb12-90.html>

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).
Source: Population Estimates <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/population/cb12-90.html>

Serving Our Nation

2.3 million

Number of black military veterans in the United States in 2011.
Source: 2011 American Community Survey <http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/index.xhtml>

Education

82.5%

The percentage of blacks 25 and older with a high school diploma or higher in 2011.
Source: 2011 American Community Survey <http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/11_1YR/S0201//popgroup~004>

18.4%

The percentage of blacks 25 and older who had a bachelor's degree or higher in 2011.
Source: 2011 American Community Survey <http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/11_1YR/S0201//popgroup~004>

1.6 million

Among blacks 25 and older, the number who had an advanced degree in 2011.
Source: 2011 American Community Survey <http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/11_1YR/S0201//popgroup~004>

3.1 million

Number of blacks enrolled in college in 2011, a 74.0 percent increase since 2001.
Source: 2011 American Community Survey <http://www.census.gov/hhes/school/data/cps/historical/index.html>

Voting

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.
Source: Voting and Registration in the Election of 2010 <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/voting/cb11-164.html>

55%

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 <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/voting/cb09-110.html>

65%

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.
Source: Voting and Registration in the Election of 2008 <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/voting/cb09-110.html>

Income, Poverty and Health Insurance

$32,229

The annual median income of black households in 2011, a decline of 2.7 percent from 2010.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2011 <http://www.census.gov/prod/2012pubs/p60-243.pdf>

27.6%

Poverty rate in 2011 for blacks.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2011
<http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/income_wealth/cb12-172.html>

80.5%

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
<http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/cpstables/032012/health/h01_000.htm>

Families and Children

61.9%

Among households with a black householder, the percentage that contained a family in 2012. There were 9.7 million black family households.
Source: 2012 Current Population Survey, Families and Living Arrangements, Table F1 and Table HH-2 <http://www.census.gov/hhes/families/data/cps.html>

45.2%

Among families with black householders, the percentage that were married couples in 2012.
Source: 2012 Current Population Survey, Families and Living Arrangements, Table F1 <http://www.census.gov/hhes/families/data/cps2012.html>

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.
Source: 2011 American Community Survey <http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/11_1YR/B10051B>

Homeownership

43.4%

Nationally, the percentage of households with a householder who was black who lived in owner-occupied homes in 2011.
Source: 2011 American Community Survey <http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?fpt=table>

Jobs

28.2%

The percentage of blacks 16 and older who worked in management, business, science and arts occupations.
Source: 2011 American Community Survey <http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/11_1YR/S0201//popgroup~004>

Businesses

$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 <http://factfinder2.census.gov>

37.7%

Percentage of black-owned businesses in 2007 in health care and social assistance, repair and maintenance, and personal and laundry services.
Source: 2007 Survey of Business Owners <http://factfinder2.census.gov>

10.6%

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.br /> Source: 2007 Survey of Business Owners <http://factfinder2.census.gov>

Following is a list of observances typically covered by the Census Bureau’s Facts for Features series:

  • African-American History Month (February)
  • Super Bowl
  • Valentine's Day (Feb. 14)
  • Women's History Month (March)
  • Irish-American Heritage Month (March)/
          St. Patrick's Day (March 17)
  • Earth Day (April 22)
  • Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month (May)
  • Older Americans Month (May)
  • Cinco de Mayo (May 5)
  • Mother's Day
  • Hurricane Season Begins (June 1)
  • Father's Day
  • The Fourth of July (July 4)
  • Anniversary of Americans With Disabilities Act (July 26)
  • Back to School (August)
  • Labor Day
  • Grandparents Day
  • Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct. 15)
  • Unmarried and Single Americans Week
  • Halloween (Oct. 31)
  • American Indian/Alaska Native Heritage Month (November)
  • Veterans Day (Nov. 11)
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • The Holiday Season (December)

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. Facts for Features are customarily released about two months before an observance in order to accommodate magazine production timelines. Questions or comments should be directed to the Census Bureau’s Public Information Office: telephone: 301-763-3030; fax: 301-763-3762; or e-mail: <PIO@census.gov>.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Public Information Office | PIO@census.gov | Last Revised: July 15, 2014