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More than 12% of the American population identified as Black or African American in 2020. Data from five government entities shows that, on average, Black Americans are more likely to be in a union than the general US population, voted at higher rates in 2020 than in 2016, make up a greater share of Congress than ever before.

Here are 10 facts for a data snapshot of this US population.

  1. The Black or African American population was 39.9 million people in 2020. That’s 12.1% of the 331.4 million people living in the United States that year.
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2. People identifying solely as Black or African American were 11.9% of the veteran population between 2015–2019. They were the second-largest racial group of veterans after white Americans. Another 2% of veterans identified as two or more races.

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3. The voting rate for Black Americans during the 2020 presidential election was 62.6%, up from 2016 but down from 66.2% in 2012.

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4. Sixty-six percent of Black women who are public-school teachers report having at least a master’s degree. Only Asian women at public schools reported having advanced degrees at a higher rate.

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5. Since at least 2000, Black workers have been more likely to belong to a union than US workers overall. In 2019, 11.2% of Black workers were unionized, compared to 10.3% of workers overall.

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6. Of all states, Mississippi has the largest share of Black Americans as a percentage of its population.

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7. Eighty-two percent of employed Black women worked full time in 2019, while 77% of overall full time employed women did.

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8. In 2019, 77.9% of Black people with an advanced degree and 77.4% with a bachelor's degree participated in the labor force. However, 58.9% of Black people with a high school diploma and 37.3% without a high school diploma did.

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9. Black high school attainment was at a record 87.9% by 2019.

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10. The 117th Congress has 62 Black members, a record high. They represent constituents from 28 states, the Virgin Islands, and Washington, DC.

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