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African-American/Black Population


Blacks or African-Americans are people having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa. According to the 2000 U.S. Census, those who identify only as African-American constitute approximately 12 percent of the American population almost 35 million individuals. The Census Bureau projects that by the year 2035 there will be more than 50 million African-American individuals in the United States, comprising 14.3 percent of the population. The African-American population is represented throughout the country, with the greatest concentrations in the Southeast and mid-Atlantic regions, especially Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and Maryland.

African-Americans have a long history in the United States. Some African American families have been in the United States for many generations; others are recent immigrants from places such as Africa, the Caribbean, or the West Indies. The health disparities between African-Americans and other racial groups are striking and are apparent in life expectancy, infant mortality, and other measures of health status. For example, in 1999 the average American could expect to live 76.9 years, the average African-American could only expect to live 71.4 years. Factors contributing to poor health outcomes among African Americans include discrimination, cultural barriers, and lack of access to health care.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Office of Minority Health

For more details about Black or African-American populations:

U.S. Census 2000 Brief: The Black Population

Ten Leading Causes of Death in the U.S. in 2002 for Blacks/African-Americans:

1. Heart disease
2. Cancer
3. Stroke
4. Diabetes
5. Unintentional injuries
6. Homicide
7. HIV/AIDS
8. Chronic lower respiratory disease
9. Nephritis, Nephrotic syndrome, and Nephrosis
10. Septicemia

Source: Health, U.S., 2004, Table 31.

In addition, Blacks or African-Americans have disproportionately high prevalence of the following conditions and risk factors:


Last Updated: 04-01-2013

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