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U.S. Census Bureau Releases Key Statistics on Nation's African American Population in Honor of Black History Month


The following is a cross-post from the U.S. Census Bureau

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 African American 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.

48.2 million

The Black population, either alone or in combination with one or more races, in the United States in 2019.

30.7%

The percentage of the employed Black population age 16 and older working in management, business, science and arts occupations in 2019.

124,004

The number of Black-owned employer businesses in the United States in 2017.

2.1 million

The number of Black military veterans in the United States nationwide in 2019. 

Voting Rates

Income, Poverty and Health Insurance

More Stats

See a detailed profile on the Black population from the 2019 American Community Survey. Statistics include:

  • Families and children.
  • Marital status.
  • Grandparents living with grandchildren.
  • Jobs.
  • Labor force participation.
  • Occupation.
  • Commuting.
  • Housing.

For more information, see the U.S. Census Bureau's latest Facts for Features National African American (Black) History Month: February 2021

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