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Highlights of Census Bureau Population Statistics in Recognition of African American History Month

2/27/2001:   Highlights of recent population statistics concerning African Americans are compiled in a Census Bureau "Facts for Features" press release in recognition of African American History Month (February).

In September 2000, CWLA became a Census Information Center (CIC) and receives data in advance of embargoed release dates. As a CIC, CWLA is given Census Bureau data on searchable CD-ROMs and can provide others with access to the data.

Information and web addresses of special interest to CWLA members and friends can be accessed at www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/2001/cb01ff02.html. This site includes the following statistics:

As of November 1, 2000, the nationís African American population was estimated at 35.5 million, or 13% of the total population. Since April 1, 1990, the African American population has increased by 5 million people, or 16%, while the total U.S. population increased 11%.

The percentage of African Americans, age 25 and over, with a high school diploma or more in 2000 was more than double that of 1970. Likewise, the percentage in 2000 with a bachelorís degree or higher was more than triple that of 30 years earlier.

In 2000, 25% of employed African American women, age 16 and over, and 18% of men worked in managerial and professional specialty occupations (e.g., engineers, dentists, teachers, lawyers, and reporters).

Nationwide, 53% of African Americans resided in the central cities of metropolitan areas in 2000.

The 1999 median income for African American households, $27,910, was the highest ever recorded. Conversely, the 1999 poverty rate for African Americans, 23.6%, was the lowest ever measured by the Census Bureau, and about 700,00 fewer African Americans were poor in 1999 (8.4 million) than in 1998.

In 2000, of the 8.7 million African American families, 48% were married-couple families. African American families are larger than non-Hispanic White families: 21% of African American married-couple families had five or more members, compared with 12% of their non-Hispanic White counterparts.

For information on CWLAís role as a CIC, please contact Alicia Drais at adrais@cwla.org.

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