Infographic: Black History Month

To commemorate and celebrate the contributions to our nation made by people of African descent, American historian Carter G. Woodson established Black History Week.


The first celebration occurred on Feb. 12, 1926. For many years, the second week of February was set aside for this celebration to coincide with the birthdays of abolitionist/editor Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln.


In 1976, as part of the nation’s bicentennial, the week was expanded into Black History Month. Each year, U.S. presidents proclaim February as National African-American History Month.


Black History Month 2016_Census Bureau


Black-Owned Businesses In The U.S.

2.6 million
The number of black-owned firms nationally in 2012, up from 1.9 million or 34.5 percent from 2007.

The number of African-American/black-owned firms in “other services”— which includes repair and maintenance (automotive, consumer electronics, etc.) and personal/laundry services (hair/nail salons, dry cleaning, pet care) — the largest sector of black-owned businesses. The “other services” sector is followed by health care and social assistance (492,983 black-owned firms); administrative, support, waste management and remediation (294,977); professional, scientific and technical support (206,942); and transportation and warehousing (184,777).


Black Population

3.8 million
The black population in New York, which led all states as of July 1, 2014. Texas had the largest numeric increase since 2013 (88,000). The District of Columbia had the highest percentage of blacks (50.6 percent), followed by Mississippi (38.2 percent).


45.7 million
The number of blacks, either alone or in combination with one or more other races, on July 1, 2014, up 1.3 percent from July 1, 2013.

74.5 million
The projected black, either alone or in combination, population of the United States (including those of more than one race) for July 1, 2060. On that date, African Americans would constitute 17.9 percent of the nation’s total population.



Serving Our Nation

2.2 million
Number of black military veterans in the United States in 2014.

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