Race, Ethnicity, and Language Data: Standardization for Health Care Quality Improvement

Table 2-3: Selected Characteristics of the Black Population in the United States

Black Groups Numbera
(in millions)
Percent of U.S. Black Population Percent of U.S. Population Native Born (%) Speak a Language Other Than English at Home and Speak English Less Than "Very Well" (%) Less Than High School Graduationb (%) Poverty Rate (%)
African-American 24.5 67.0 8.6 99.0 c 24.3 23.2
Afro-Caribbean 1.6 4.4 0.6 30.4 c 27.6 15.5
African 1.5 4.2 0.5 68.3 34.2c 21.2 22.3
Other or no ancestry reported 9.0 24.5 3.1 91.0   38.8 29.8
Total Black 36.6 100.0 12.8 92.8 36.1c 27.7d 24.3
Total U.S. population 285.2 12.8 NA 88.9 8.1 19.6 12.4
Blacks speaking Spanish at home 1.5 4.0 0.5 78.7 37.5c 32.3 30.1
Blacks speaking other Indo-European languages at home 0.9 2.5 0.3 39.6 38.5c 31.1 20.3
Blacks speaking Asian and Pacific Islander languages at home 0.06 0.2 0.02 67.7 29.8c 21.1 16.7
Blacks speaking all other languages at home 0.06 0.2 0.02 55.8 28.4c 22.4 28.7

a Black race alone and in combination.
b Population 25 and older (20.8 million).
c U.S. Census Bureau, 2006b. Calculations using Census data. Black race alone. Population 5 years and older.
d U.S. Census Bureau, 2006a. Calculations using Census data.

Source: McKinnon and Bennett, 2005, and Subcommittee tabulations from the 2000 Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS).

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Page last reviewed October 2014
Page originally created September 2012
Internet Citation: Table 2-3: Selected Characteristics of the Black Population in the United States. Content last reviewed October 2014. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/research/findings/final-reports/iomracereport/reldatatab2-3.html