Skip Navigation

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Office of Minority Health

Office of Minority Health (OMH) Logo

Profile: Black/African Americans

African American Profile Map with Links to Departments of Health in each indicated State For additional data and statistics on African Americans in New York, click here. For additional data and statistics on African Americans in Maryland, click here. For additional data and statistics on African Americans in Maryland, click here. For additional data and statistics on Asian Americans in Virginia, click here. For additional data and statistics on African Americans in Illinois, click here. For additional data and statistics on African Americans in North Carolina,  click here. For additional data and statistics on African Americans in Georgia, click here. For additional data and statistics on African Americans in Florida, click here. For additional data and statistics on African Americans in Texas, click here. For additional data and statistics on African Americans in California, click here.

(Map of the US with the top 10 states displaying the
largest African American population according to the Census Bureau)

NY - CA - TX - GA - FL - NC - IL - LA - MD - VA

Overview (Demographics): In July 2017, 41.4 million people in the United States were black alone, which represents 12.7 percent of the total population. African Americans are the second largest minority population, following the Hispanic/Latino population. In 2017, most blacks lived in the South (58 percent of the black U.S. population), while 27 percent of the white population lived in the South. The ten states with the largest black population in 2017 were Texas, Georgia, Florida, New York, North Carolina, California, Illinois, New Jersey, Virginia, Louisiana. Combined, these 10 states represent 58% of the total black population.

Educational Attainment: In 2017, as compared to non-Hispanic whites 25 years and over, 86.0 percent of non-Hispanic blacks had earned at least a high school diploma, as compared to 92.9 percent of the non-Hispanic white population. 21.4 percent of non-Hispanic blacks had a bachelor’s degree or higher, as compared with 35.8 percent of non-Hispanic whites. More black women than black men had earned at least a bachelor's degree (23.8 percent compared with 18.5 percent), while among non-Hispanic whites, a higher proportion of women than men had earned at least a bachelor's degree (35.9 percent and 35.6 percent, respectively). 8.1 percent of non-Hispanic blacks have a graduate or advanced professional degree, as compared to 13.8 percent of the non-Hispanic white population.

Economics: According to the Census Bureau in 2017, the average non-Hispanic black median household income was $40,165 in comparison to $65,845 for non-Hispanic white households. In 2017, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that 22.9 percent of non-Hispanic blacks in comparison to 9.6 percent of non-Hispanic whites were living at the poverty level. In 2017, the unemployment rate for blacks was twice that of non-Hispanic whites (9.5 percent and 4.2 percent, respectively).

Insurance Coverage: In 2017, 55.5 percent of non-Hispanic blacks in comparison to 75.4 percent of non-Hispanic whites used private health insurance. Also in 2017, 43.9 percent of non-Hispanic blacks in comparison to 33.7 percent of non-Hispanic whites relied on Medicaid or public health insurance. Finally, 9.9 percent of non-Hispanic blacks in comparison to 5.9 percent of non-Hispanic whites were uninsured.

Health: According to Census Bureau projections, the 2015 life expectancies at birth for blacks are 76.1 years, with 78.9 years for women, and 72.9 years for men. For non-Hispanic whites the projected life expectancies are 79.8 years, with 82.0 years for women, and 77.5 years for men. The death rate for African Americans is generally higher than whites for heart diseases, stroke, cancer, asthma, influenza and pneumonia, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, and homicide.

Full Census Reports:
The Black Population: 2010 [PDF | 2.9MB]
Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2017 [PDF | 1.25MB]
Income and Poverty in the United States: 2017 [PDF | 1.25MB]
Census Bureau, 2018. 2017 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates

Last Modified: 8/22/2019 2:44:00 PM