Sociological Comparisons between African-Americans and Whites

Population: as of July of 1999

Total Population 272,330,000
White 224,103,000 82.3%
Black 34,997,000 12.9%
Hispanic 30,461,000 11.2%
Asian 10,861,000 4%
American Indian 2,369,000 .9%

Information compiled by

Preference for Racial or Ethnic Terminology

The following data are from a survey asking different groups how they want people to recognize their racial or ethnic identity.   Asian Americans go by their actual nationality (e.g., Chinese American, Japanese American).

Hispanic: Hispanic 57.88%, Spanish 12.34%, Latino 11.74%, Other 7.85%, None 10.18%
White:     White 61.66%, Caucasian 16.53 %, European American 2.35%, Other 1.97%, Anglo .96%, None 16.53%
Black:     Black 44.15%, African American 28.07%, Afro American 12.12%, Negro 3.28%, Other 2.19%, Colored 1.09%,                  none 9.11%
American Indian:  American Indian 49.76%, Native American 37.35%, Other 3.66%, Alaska Native 3.51%, None 5.72%

Information compiled by under the keyword:  Society and Race/ Ethnicity


Income and Poverty Comparisons

Income Levels for 1997


Female Headed Households

Males Living Alone

Females Living Alone

Married Couples

African Amer.


African Amer.


African Amer.


African Amer.


African Amer.












Poverty Rates for 1997



Female Headed Families

African A.


African A.


African A.









Earnings by Education by Race

Historically Black Universities and Colleges

The following are historically Black univeristies or colleges broken down by the percentage of white and Black students attending.
        Schools with High White Populations

1. Bluefield State (W. VA)- 92% white population
2. West VA. St. (W. VA)- 86%
3. Lincoln University (Mo.)- 70%

        Schools with High Black Populations

1. Tougaloo College (Miss.)- 100% black population
2. Lane College (Tenn.)- 100%
3. Allen University (South Carolina)- 100%t

Information compiled by

Family Structure



The above data are from The Census Bureau and

11.1 percent of White children are poor.

39.9 percent of Black children are poor. This information is from

The young child poverty rate has grown twice as fast among whites as among blacks.

Although the incidence of poverty among whites is relatively low compared to blacks, the rate of white young children living in poverty grew twice as fast as that among blacks (38 percent versus 19 percent) between the late 1970s and the early 1990s. White children are the largest single ethnic group of young children in poverty. In 1994, there were over 2.2 million young white children living in poverty compared to 1.9 million young black children and 1.7 million young Hispanic children.

Whereas 6 percent of young white children were extremely poor in 1994, five times that proportion--30 percent--of young black children lived in families with incomes below 50 percent of the federal poverty threshold. This information is from

Interracial Married Couples: 1960 to the Present

(Includes all interracial married couples with at least one spouse of white or black race.)

      Interracial married couples
Year Total
married couples
Total Total Black husband,
white wife
White husband,
black wife
other race*
other race*
1960 40,491,000 149,000 51,000 25,000 26,000 90,000 7,000
1970 44,598,000 310,000 65,000 41,000 24,000 233,000 12,000
1980 49,514,000 953,000 121,000 94,000 27,000 785,000 47,000
1990 51,718,000 1,461,000 213,000 159,000 54,000 1,173,000 75,000
1995 54,937,000 1,392,000 328,000 206,000 122,000 988,000 76,000

This information was compiled from under the keyword: Society and Race/ Ethnicity

Crime Data

Lifetime chances of a person going to prison are higher for

-- men (9%) than for women (1.1%)
-- blacks (16.2%) and Hispanics (9.4%) than for whites (2.5%)

Based on current rates of first incarceration, an estimated 28% of black males will enter State or Federal prison during their lifetime, compared to 16% of Hispanic males and 4.4% of white males.

Sixty-five percent of state prison inmates belonged to racial or ethnic minorities in 1991, up from 60% in 1986.

At current levels of incarceration newborn black males in this country have a greater than a 1 in 4 chance of going to prison during their lifetimes, while Hispanic males have a 1 in 6 chance, and white males have a 1 in 23 chance of serving time. NCJ 160092

The number of drug trafficking convictions in State courts more than doubled between 1986 and1990. Of persons convicted of drug trafficking in State courts in 1990--85% were male 42% were white, 57% black, and 1% of other races

The data on crime are from

Health Data

Birth Rate for African-Americans: 70.8 births per 1,000 population (1996)
Source: Monthly Vital Statistics Report, Vol. 46, No. 1 Supplement

National Birth Rate: 14.8 live births per 1,000 population (1996)
Source: Monthly Vital Statistics Report, Vol. 46, No. 1 Supplement

Percent of Births to Teenagers: 22.9 (1996)
Source: Monthly Vital Statistics Report, Vol. 46, No. 1 Supplement

National Proportion of All Live Births to Teenagers: 12.9% (1996)
Source: Monthly Vital Statistics Report, Vol. 46, No. 1 Supplement

Life Expectancy for All Non-White Population: 71.9 years (1996)

Life Expectancy for Black Population: 70.3 years (1996)

Life Expectancy Chart

The health data above are from

29,583 babies died in 1995—a rate of 7.6 for every 1,000 live births. The infant mortality rate for Black babies (15.1 for every 1,000 live births) is decreasing but remains more than twice that for White babies (6.3 for every 1,000 live births). This information is from


Of those who are HIV or AIDS positive, 43% are Black, 20% are Hispanic, 1% are Asian, 36% are White, and 0% are Native American.

Among women, African Americans represent 56% of those who have HIV or AIDS. Statistics compiled by

The Council of Economic Advisors has released a report that lists social and economic indicators of various racial and ethnic groups. It is similar to this website and includes ethnic comparisons and racial comparisons. To view this document click here.