The U.S. Census Bureau announced that in March, the 2010 census forms will start showing up in mailboxes across the U.S. and in Puerto Rico. Recipients are urged to fill out this 10-item questionnaire promptly and return it in the postage-paid envelope without delay. As we celebrate Black History Month, African Americans need to remember that civil rights activism and protests lasted almost 100 years. We pleaded, fought and died for equal treatment and the full benefits of citizenship, including the right to vote, educational opportunities and jobs. The right to be counted is equally important as the right to vote. We must take every measure to partake fully in achieving the American Dream.
No need to worry about your privacy, the Census Bureau’s regulations require that any personal data provided is confidential and protected under federal law. Here are 10 interesting facts the Census has revealed about African Americans:
1. As of July 1, 2008, the estimated population of black residents in the United States, including those of more than one race was 41.1 million. We made up 13.5 percent of the total U.S. population. This figure represents an increase of more than a half-million residents from one year earlier.
2. The projected black population of the United States (including those of more than one race) for July 1, 2050 is 65.7 million. On that date, according to the projection, blacks would constitute 15 percent of the nation’s total population.
3. There are 18 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.
4. Eighty-three percent of blacks 25 and older, had at least a high school diploma in 2008.
5. Among blacks 25 and older, 1.4 million blacks had an advanced degree in 2008 (e.g., master’s, doctorate, medical or law). In 1998, 857,000 blacks achieved this level of education.
6. Revenue for black-owned businesses in 2002 was $88.6 billion. 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 United States.
7. The number of black-owned firms operating in 2002 with receipts of $1 million or more was 10,716. These firms accounted for 1 percent of the total number of black-owned firms in 2002 and 55 percent of their total receipts, or $49 billion.
8. Nationally, 46 percent of households had a resident who was single-race black who lived in owner-occupied homes.
9. The percentage of single-race blacks lacking health insurance in 2008 was 19.1 percent, not statistically different from 2007.
10. The turnout rate among black citizens in the 2008 presidential election was 65 percent, up about 5 percentage points from 2004. Looking at voter turnout by race and ethnicity, non-Hispanic whites and blacks had the highest turnout levels.
Your participation will be the wind that opens new doors of opportunity for African Americans. Count yourself in. –yvette caslin