African Americans

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Blacks
Total population
42,020,743  [1]
including 3,091,424 mixed race individuals
(13.6% of U.S. population)
2010 U.S. Census
Regions with significant populations
Predominantly in the Southern United States and in urban areas across the country
Religion
Predominantly Protestant (78%)
Largest minorities are Roman Catholics (5%) and Muslims (1%) [2]

African Americans (also referred to as Black Americans or Afro-Americans or more unspecifically by using terms such as Blacks) are citizens or residents of the United States with Sub-Saharan African ancestry. African Americans have on average a very small degree of European ancestry.

Other words such Colored and Negro are today considered to be negative by the politically correct, despite this not always being the case. Negro remains the official category for blacks in United States Census Returns.

History

A ship with Africans arrived in British North America (and future United States of America) in 1619. The first Africans settled in Jamestown, Virginia and for many years were similar in legal position to poor English people who traded several years labor in exchange for passage to America. Africans could in some cases legally raise crops and cattle to purchase their freedom. By the 1640s and 1650s, some African families owned farms around Jamestown. The race-based slave system did not fully develop until the 1700's. By 1860, there were 3.5 million enslaved Africans in the Southern United States due to the Atlantic slave trade, and another 500,000 Africans lived free across the country. In 1863, during the American Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. The proclamation declared all slaves in states that had seceded from the Union were free. Advancing Union troops enforced the proclamation with Texas being the last state to be emancipated in 1865. In late 1890s, Southern states enacted Jim Crow laws to enforce racial segregation and disenfranchisement. Most African Americans followed the Jim Crow laws and created their own schools, churches, banks, social clubs, and other businesses.

The civil rights movement, "affirmative action", White flight, Cultural Marxism, and the ending of immigration restrictions causing more Black immigrants are some relatively recent historical changes related to African Americans.

Demographics

Percentage of population self-reported as Blacks by state in 2010:

      less than 2 %       2–5 %       5–10 %       10–15 %       15–20 %

      20–25 %       25–30 %       30–35 %       35–40 %

Black in the United States[3]
Year Number  % of total
population
 % Change
(10 yr)
1790 757,208 19.3% (highest)  –
1800 1,002,037 18.9% 32.3%
1810 1,377,808 19.0% 37.5%
1820 1,771,656 18.4% 28.6%
1830 2,328,642 18.1% 31.4%
1840 2,873,648 16.8% 23.4%
1850 3,638,808 15.7% 26.6%
1860 4,441,830 14.1% 22.1%
1870 4,880,009 12.7% 9.9%
1880 6,580,793 13.1% 34.9%
1890 7,488,788 11.9% 13.8%
1900 8,833,994 11.6% 18.0%
1910 9,827,763 10.7% 11.2%
1920 10.5 million 9.9% 6.8%
1930 11.9 million 9.7% (lowest) 13%
1940 12.9 million 9.8% 8.4%
1950 15.0 million 10.0% 16%
1960 18.9 million 10.5% 26%
1970 22.6 million 11.1% 20%
1980 26.5 million 11.7% 17%
1990 30.0 million 12.1% 13%
2000 34.6 million 12.3% 15%
2010 38.9 million 12.6% 12%

Notes

  1. The Black Population: 2010 (PDF). Census.gov (September 2011). Retrieved on June 3, 2013.
  2. Pew Forum: A Religious Portrait of African-Americans. The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life (January 30, 2009). Retrieved on October 31, 2012.
  3. This table gives the Black population in the United States over time, based on U.S. Census figures. (Numbers from years 1920 to 2000 are based on U.S. Census figures as given by the Time Almanac of 2005, p. 377.)
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