By Christine Tamir, Abby Budiman, Luis Noe-Bustamante and Lauren Mora
The Black population of the United States is growing. In 2019, there were 46.8 million people who self-identified as Black, making up roughly 14% of the country’s population. This marks a 29% increase since 2000, when there were roughly 36.2 million Black Americans.
Black Americans are diverse. This group consists of people with varied racial and ethnic identities and experiences. The nation’s Black population includes those who say their race is Black, either alone or along with other racial backgrounds. It also includes Hispanics or Latinos who say their race is Black.
This fact sheet is a profile of the demographic, geographic and economic characteristics of the U.S. Black population in 2019. In order to present detailed data about this group, charts and analysis about the Black population are analyzed through the lens of four different demographic groups:
U.S. Black population (which is inclusive of the following three demographic subgroups):
Single-race, non-Hispanic Black people
Multiracial, non-Hispanic Black people
Black Hispanic people
Scroll down or click through the navigation bar on the left to see various demographic and economic characteristics of the U.S. Black population.
There were 46.8 million people in the U.S. who identified as Black in 2019. The Black population has grown by more than 10 million since 2000, when 36.2 million of the U.S. population identified as Black, marking a 29% increase over almost two decades. More than 4.6 million Black people in the U.S. were born outside the country as of 2019, meaning that 10% of the Black population was foreign born. This is an increase from 2000, when 2.4 million people, or roughly 7%, among the Black population were foreign born.
The U.S. Black population is young and growing. The median age of Black people in 2019 was 32, six years younger than the U.S. population’s median age of 38. Roughly 30% of the entire Black population was below the age of 20 and 11% were 65 or older.
Over a third of the U.S. Black population (35%) was 22 years or younger in 2019. An additional 23% were Millennials, meaning roughly 58% of all Black Americans were age 38 or younger in 2019.
Fertility in the past year
The general fertility rate among Black women ages 15 to 44 is 5.9%.
The vast majority of the Black population as of 2019 speaks English very well or only speaks English at home (96%), while almost nine-in-ten (89%) speak only English at home. Besides English, other languages spoken by the Black population ages 5 and older include Spanish (3%), French or Haitian Creole (2%) and Amharic and other Ethiopian languages (1%).
Regionally, the highest concentration of Black people in the U.S. in 2019 is in the South. More than half (56%) live there, while 17% live in the Midwest, 17% live in the Northeast and 10% live in the West. When it comes to states of residence, Texas is home to the largest Black population, at about 3.9 million. Florida comes in a close second with 3.8 million, and Georgia comes in third, with 3.6 million.
The most populous metropolitan area of residence for all Black people in 2019 is New York City, with 3.8 million. In a distant second is Atlanta, with 2.2 million, and then the Washington, D.C., area, with 1.7 million Black residents.
The median household income for Black households in 2019 is $44,000, which means half of households headed by a Black person earn more than that and half earn less. Broader analysis shows that more than half (54%) of Black households earn less than $50,000, while 46% make $50,000 or more. Almost three-in-ten (28%) make $75,000 or more, including 18% that make $100,000 or more.
More than a third (38%) of households that Black people live in are headed by married couples as of 2019. Roughly three-in-ten Black people (32%) live in households whose household head is female, and 6% live in male-headed households. Fewer than a quarter (24%) are part of non-family households.
When it comes to educational attainment, almost a quarter (23%) of all Black adults ages 25 and older have a bachelor’s degree or more. A third (33%) have completed some college as of 2019, and more than four-in-ten (44%) have, at most, graduated from high school (or earned an equivalent such as a GED certificate).
Two-thirds (66%) of all Black adults identify as Protestant. Roughly one-in-five (21%) are unaffiliated with any particular religion, while smaller shares of adults identify as Catholic (6%), other Christian denominations (3%) or non-Christian faiths (3%). For more, read “Faith Among Black Americans”