There are 40 million black Americans on the eve of the 2010 Census. We are 12.3 percent of the U.S. population down from 14.8 percent of the population in 2000. African Americans became the nation’s second-largest minority group in the first decade of the 21st century.

WHERE WE LIVE

More than half of black Americans live in the South.

New York had the largest black population of any state as of July 1, 2008 (3.5 million); Georgia had the largest numeric increase since July 1, 2007 (67,000). The District of Columbia had the highest percentage of blacks (56 percent), followed by Mississippi (38 percent).

Cook County, Ill. (Chicago’s county) had the largest black population of any county (1.4 million), and Orleans Parish, La. (New Orleans’ county) had the largest numeric increase since July 1, 2007 (16,000). Claiborne County, Miss.—on the Louisiana border—had the highest percentage of blacks in the nation (84 percent).

Seventy-seven counties were majority-black or African-American; all were in the South.

More than half of black American (53 percent) rent their homes—that’s the largest percentage of renters among the races in the U.S.

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GENDER

We are more women than men.

Households: Nearly one out of every three black households (29 percent) are headed by a single woman, the highest percentage of female-headed households in the U.S.

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MARRIAGE

Nearly half of us have never married, the highest percentage for all racial groups. Only 30 percent of blacks are now married.

MONEY

The annual median income of black households in 2008 is $34,218, a decline of 2.8 percent (in 2008 constant dollars) from 2007. It’s the lowest in the United States.

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Black median family income was just over $41,000 in 2008, the lowest in the United States of any racial group. A single black woman with children earned a median annual income of $25,958.

No surprise then that one out of five black families lives in poverty. More than 40 percent of black families headed by a single mom are poor.

IMMIGRANTS

Only 3 million African Americans are immigrants. Of that number, nearly two-thirds were born in Latin America, the other one-third of the immigrants were born in Africa.

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Only 7 percent of us speak a language other than English.

MILITARY

Number of black military veterans in the United States in 2008: 2.3 million. More military veterans are black than any other minority group.

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Source: 2008 American Community Survey