To commemorate and celebrate the contributions to our nation made by people of African descent, American historian Carter G. Woodson established Black History Week (then called “Negro History Week”) nearly a century ago. The event was first celebrated during the second week of February 1926, selected because it coincides with the birthdays of both Abraham Lincoln (February 12) and abolitionist/writer Frederick Douglass (February 14). That week would continue to be set aside for the event until 1976 when, as part of the nation’s bicentennial, it was expanded to a month. Since then, U.S. presidents have proclaimed February as National Black History Month.
The following facts are made possible by the invaluable responses to the U.S. Census Bureau’s surveys. We appreciate the public’s cooperation as we continuously measure America’s people, places and economy.
Note: References to the Black population in this publication refer to single-race Black people (“Black alone”) unless otherwise noted.
The Black or African American alone or in combination population in the United States in 2020.
The percentage of African Americans age 25 and older with a high school diploma or higher in 2020.
The percentage of the employed Black population ages 16 and older working in management, business, science and arts occupations in 2019.
See a detailed profile on the Black population from the 2019 American Community Survey. Statistics include:
The following is a list of observances typically covered by the Census Bureau’s Facts for Features series:
Black (African American) History Month (February)
Women's History Month (March)
Irish-American Heritage Month (March)
Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month (May)
The Fourth of July (July 4)
Anniversary of Americans With Disabilities Act (July 26)
Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct. 15)
Halloween (Oct. 31)
American Indian/Alaska Native Heritage Month (November)
Veterans Day (Nov. 11)
Thanksgiving Day/Holiday Season (November-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; or e-mail: email@example.com.
Profile America's Stats for Stories provides links to timely story ideas highlighting the Census Bureau's newsworthy statistics that relate to current events, observances, holidays, and anniversaries. The story ideas are intended to assist the media in story mining and producing content for their respective audiences.