Census Bureau Profile America Facts for Features: National African American (Black) History Month: February 2021 (RESEND)

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National African American (Black) History Month: February 2021

black history month

JAN. 26, 2021

To commemorate and celebrate the contributions to our nation made by people of African descent, American historian Carter G. Woodson established Black History Week (then called “Negro History Week”) nearly a century ago. The event was first celebrated during the second week of February 1926, selected because it coincides with the birthdays of both Abraham Lincoln (February 12) and abolitionist/writer Frederick Douglass (February 14). That week would continue to be set aside for the event until 1976 when, as part of the nation’s bicentennial, it was expanded to a month. Since then, U.S. presidents have proclaimed February as National African American History Month.

The following facts are made possible by the invaluable responses to the U.S. Census Bureau’s surveys. We appreciate the public’s cooperation as we continuously measure America’s people, places and economy.

Note: References to the Black population in this publication are to single-race Black people (“Black alone”) unless otherwise noted.

Did You Know?

48.2 million

The Black population, either alone or in combination with one or more races, in the United States in 2019.

Source: 2019 Population Estimates 


The percentage of African Americans age 25 and older with a high school diploma or higher in 2019.

Source: Current Population Survey


The percentage of the employed Black population age 16 and older working in management, business, science and arts occupations in 2019.

Source: 2019 American Community Survey (Source includes more on occupations, commuting and industries.)


The number of Black-owned employer businesses in the United States in 2017. Source: 2018 Annual Business Survey, data year 2017

2.1 million

The number of Black military veterans in the United States nationwide in 2019.

Source: 2019 American Community Survey

More on Population Size

Voting Rates

Income, Poverty and Health Insurance

More Stats

See a detailed profile on the Black population from the 2019 American Community Survey. Statistics include:

  • Families and children.
  • Marital status.
  • Grandparents living with grandchildren.
  • Labor force participation.

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Past Facts for Features

Stats for Stories 


The following is a list of observances typically covered by the Census Bureau’s Facts for Features series:

African American History Month (February)

Women's History Month (March)

Irish-American Heritage Month (March)

Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month (May)

The Fourth of July (July 4)

Anniversary of Americans with Disabilities Act (July 26)

Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct. 15)

Halloween (Oct. 31)

American Indian/Alaska Native Heritage Month (November)

Veterans Day (Nov. 11)

Holiday Season (November-December)

Editor’s note: This data comes from a variety of sources and may be subject to sampling variability and other sources of error. Facts for Features are generally released about two months before an observance to accommodate magazine production timelines. Direct questions or comments to the Census Bureau’s Public Information Office at 301-763-3030 or <pio@census.gov>.

Profile America's Facts for Features provides statistics related to observances and holidays not covered by Stats for Stories. For observances not listed above, visit our Stats for Stories webpage.  

Profile America's Stats for Stories provides links to timely story ideas highlighting the Census Bureau's newsworthy statistics that relate to current events, observances, holidays and anniversaries. The story ideas are intended to assist the media in story mining and producing content for their respective audiences.


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We're here to help you get the most out of our tipsheets, press releases, trainings, and media services. If you have a question, give us a call at 301-763-3030 or contact our Public Information Office at pio@census.gov.



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