Black History Month by the Numbers

In 1976 black history week was expanded into black history month, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Here is a look at the black population in the U.S. and Hermosa Beach.

Black history month began as black history week in February 1926, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

For many years, the second week of February was set aside to commemorate the contributions made to the U.S. by people of African descent.

Then in 1976 the week expanded into a month—and now U.S. presidents each year proclaim February as national black history month.

About 42 million people nationwide in 2010 identified as black, which was about 13.6 percent of the American population, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

In Hermosa Beach, about 229 residents identified as black or African-American, which was about 1.2 percent of in 2010.

Here are other interesting numbers, according to census bureau statistics:

  • 2.4 million—Number of black military veterans in the U.S. in 2010.
  • 82 percent—Among African-Americans 25 and older, the percentage with a high school diploma or higher in 2010. Meanwhile, 18 percent had a bachelor’s degree or higher.
  • 1.5 million—Number of African-Americans 25 and older who had an advanced degree in 2010.
  • 2.9 million—Number of black college students in 2010, a 1.7 million increase since 1990.
  • 11.1 million—Number of black voters who voted in the 2010 congressional election.
  • 55 percent—Turnout rate in the 2008 presidential election for the 18- to 24-year-old black population, an 8-percentage point increase from 2004. African-Americans had the highest turnout rate in this age group.
  • $32,068—The annual median income of black households in 2010, a decline of 3.2 percent from 2009.
  • 44.4 percent—Among families with black householders, the percentage that were married couples last year.
  • 27.4 percent—Poverty rate in 2010 for African-Americans.
  • 28.4 percent—The percentage of African-Americans 16 and older who worked in management, business, science and arts occupations in 2010.


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