The Census Bureau puts out a nicely packaged report called “Facts for Features” almost every month that highlights some of the latest figures associated with the holidays most typically celebrated in this country. I recently ran across the 2009 report commemorating Black History Month. So for one of my ongoing series “Random Facts,” I’d like to share what I found:
As of July 1, 2007, African Americans comprised 13.5 percent of the U.S. population. That translates to 40.7 million people. (Note: The report also says this figure represents an increase of half a million residents from a year earlier. Could this be a trend?)
The projected black population of the U.S. in 2050. This would mean blacks would constitute 15 percent of the people in this country. (I recently heard someone say black people were 15 percent of the population now, but I think he was thinking about 40 years ahead.)
Number of states with an estimated 1 million black folks. New York led the way with 3.5 million, followed by Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. (I wonder how this compares with voting records?)
Not the TV show, but the number of states in which blacks were the largest minority group. These include Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington, D.C., West Virginia and Wisconsin. (Now, I can understand all the southern states, D.C., Illinois and Michigan. But Maine? Minnesota? West Virginia? Why aren’t we hearing more stories about black people there?)
The number of blacks in Cook County, Ill., which led the nation’s counties in the number of people in this racial category. (Note: This is the same county where 16-year-old honor roll student Derrion Albert was beaten to death. Think we need to pay more attention to this area, America?)
The percentage of the black population younger than 18.
Now all I need to do is find the stories that were already done that touched on these figures, since they were right there for everyone to see. Anyone up for a little crowdsourcing?