Black History Facts By The Numbers


Unless otherwise noted, the estimates in this section refer to the population that was either single-race black or black in combination with one or more other races.

  • 41.1 million … the estimated population of black residents in the United States as of July 1, 2008, including those of more than one race, making up 13.5% of the total U.S. population. This figure represents an increase of more than a half-million residents from one year earlier.
  • 65.7 million … the projected black population of the U.S. (including those of more than one race) for July 1, 2050. On that date, according to the projection, blacks would constitute 15% of the nation’s total population.
  • 18 … the number of states with an estimated black population on July 1, 2008, of at least 1 million. New York, with 3.5 million, led the way. The other 17 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.
  • 30% … the proportion of the black population younger than 18 as of July 1, 2008. At the other end of the spectrum, 8 percent of the black population was 65 and older.Source: U.S. Census Bureau


  • 83% … the proportion of blacks 25 and older who had a high school diploma or greater in 2008.
  • 20% … the proportion who had a bachelor’s degree or higher in 2008, among blacks 25 and older.
  • 1.4 million … the number of blacks who had an advanced degree in 2008 (e.g., master’s, doctorate, medical or law) among blacks 25 and older. In 1998, 857,000 blacks had this level of education.
  • 2.5 million … the number of black college students in fall 2008. This was roughly double the corresponding number from 15 years earlier.

    Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Jobs and Businesses

  • 27% … the percentage of single-race blacks age 16 and older who worked in management, professional and related occupations.
  • $88.6 billion … revenues for black-owned businesses in 2002. The number of black-owned businesses totaled nearly 1.2 million in 2002. Black-owned firms accounted for 5 percent of all nonfarm businesses in the U.S.
  • 129,329 … 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.
  • 10,716 … the number of black-owned firms operating in 2002 with receipts of $1 million or more. These firms accounted for 1% of the total number of black-owned firms in 2002 and 55 percent of their total receipts, or $49 billion.
  • 969 … 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.

    Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Income, Poverty and Health Insurance

  • $34,218 … the annual median income of single-race black households in 2008—a decline of 2.8% (in 2008 constant dollars) from 2007.
  • 24.7% … the poverty rate in 2008 for single-race blacks, statistically unchanged from 2007
  • 19.1% … the percentage of single-race blacks lacking health insurance in 2008, not statistically different from 2007.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

In the Newsroom

  • 10.1% … African Americans in the Television News Workforce in 2008 and 2007; up from 9.5% in 2006, but still down from the 11% high in 2000.
  • 7.8% … African Americans in the Radio News Workforce in 2008; up from 3.3% in 2007 and 2.5% in 2006.
  • 3.7% … African American Television News Directors in 2008; up from 2% in 2007, but down from 4.2% in 2006.
  • 1.7% … African American Radio News Directors in 2008; down drastically from 4.4% the previous year, and 5.4% in 1995.
  • 5.3% … African American newsroom employees in 2008, as surveyed by the American Society of Newspaper Editors.

Source: 2008  RTNDA/Hofstra University Annual Survey.

Important February Dates in Black History Month

  • Feb. 23, 1868
    W. E. B. DuBois, important civil rights leader and co-founder of the NAACP, was born.
  • Feb. 3, 1870
    The 15th Amendment was passed, granting blacks the right to vote.
  • Feb. 25, 1870
    The first black U.S. senator, Hiram R. Revels (1822-1901), took his oath of office.
  • Feb. 12, 1909
    The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was founded by a group of concerned black and white citizens in New York City.
  • Feb. 1, 1960
    In what would become a civil-rights movement milestone, a group of black Greensboro, N.C., college students began a sit-in at a segregated Woolworth’s lunch counter.
  • Feb. 21, 1965
    Malcolm X, the militant leader who promoted Black Nationalism, was shot to death.

    Source –


One Response to “Black History Facts By The Numbers”

  1. Although our website is no longer available our focus has been and will remain on the politics of Black America. Thank you tremendously for these results

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