Black/African American Health

African American Profile Map with Links to Departments of Health in each indicated State
Alabama Arkansas Delaware Georgia Louisiana Maryland Mississippi North Carolina South Carolina Virginia

(Map of the US with the top 10 states displaying the largest African American population according to the Census Bureau)

AL - AR - DE - GA - LA - MD - MS - NC - SC - VA


Overview (Demographics)

In 2021, 40.1 million people in the United States were non-Hispanic black alone, which represents 12.1 percent of the total population of 331.9 million. Blacks/African Americans are the second largest minority population in the United States, following the Hispanic/Latino population. In 2021, most of the US population livedin the South (38.4 percent of the total U.S. population).The ten states with the largest non-Hispanic black population in 2020 were Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia.

Educational Attainment*

In 2021, as compared to non-Hispanic whites 25 years and over, 87.9 percent of non-Hispanic blacks had earned at least a high school diploma, as compared to 93.5 percent of the non-Hispanic white population. 24.7 percent of non-Hispanic blacks had a bachelor’s degree or higher, as compared with 38.3 percent of non-Hispanic whites. More black women than black men had earned at least a bachelor's degree (16.0 percent compared with 14.0 percent), while among non-Hispanic whites, a slightly higher proportion of women than men had earned a bachelor's degree or higher (23.5 percent and 23.2 percent, respectively). 9.8 percent of non-Hispanic blacks have a graduate or advanced professional degree, as compared to 15.0 percent of the non-Hispanic white population.


According to the Census Bureau in 2021, the average non-Hispanic black median household income was $48,297 in comparison to $77,999 for non-Hispanic white households. In 2021, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that 19.5 percent of non-Hispanic blacks in comparison to 10.0 percent of non-Hispanic whites were living at the poverty level. In 2020, the unemployment rate for non-Hispanic blacks 25 years and over was higher than that of non-Hispanic whites (9.9. percent and 6.4 percent, respectively).

Insurance Coverage

In 2021, 55.1 percent of non-Hispanic blacks in comparison to 73.2 percent of non-Hispanic whites used private health insurance. Also in 2021, 42.7 percent of non-Hispanic blacks in comparison to 34.6 percent of non-Hispanic whites relied on Medicaid or public health insurance. Finally, 9.0 percent of non-Hispanic blacks in comparison to 5.2 percent of non-Hispanic whites were uninsured.


According to Census Bureau projections, the 2021 life expectancies at birth for blacks are 70.8 years, with 74.8 years for women, and 66.7 years for men. For non-Hispanic whites, the projected life expectancies are 76.4 years, with 79.2 years for women, and 73.7 years for men. The death rate for Blacks/African Americans is generally higher than whites for COVID-19, heart disease, stroke, cancer, asthma, influenza and pneumonia, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, and homicide.

* Note: The 2021 Educational Attainment data are based on a sample and are subject to sampling variability. The degree of uncertainty for an estimate arising from sampling variability is represented through the use of a margin of error. The margin of error can be interpreted roughly as providing a 90 percent probability that the interval defined by the estimate minus the margin of error and the estimate plus the margin of error (the lower and upper confidence bounds) contains the true value. In addition to sampling variability, the American Community Survey (ACS) estimates are subject to non-sampling error (for a discussion of non-sampling variability, see ACS Technical Documentation).

Full Census Reports:
2021 demographic by Race and Ethnicity
Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the United States: 2010 Census and 2020 Census
Educational Attainment in the United States: 2021
Income in the United States 2021 [PDF | 2.1MB]
Poverty in the United States 2021 [PDF | 2.2MB]
Labor force characteristics by race and ethnicity, 2020
Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2021 [PDF | 1.7 MB]
Provisional Life Expectancy Estimates for 2021