race & ethnicity

Facts

Racial disparities and race relations have come a long way since the days of Brown v. Board of Ed, MLK and Watts – but even after decades of civil rights laws, affirmative action and a war on poverty, economic and education gaps still linger between whites and minorities. Below is a snapshot of how far we've come, and what disparities still exist.

General

Racial breakdown of Americans

(2000) Census (pdf)

Note: Hispanics are 12.5% of all races.

Education

high school graduates (of adults 18+)

  • total population: 84%

  • Whites: 89%

  • Blacks: 79.5%

  • Hispanic: 58.9%

  • Asian: 87%

high school graduates over the years - % of 18+ population

college graduates (bachelors degrees) or higher (of adults 25+)

  • total population: 28%

  • Whites: 31%

  • Blacks: 18%

  • Hispanic: 12%

  • Asian: 49%

college graduates over the years - % of 25+ population

Employment

Unemployment rate (August 2005) – BLS

  • total work force: 4,9% (roughly 7.4 million)

  • White: 4.2%

  • Black: 9.6%

  • Hispanic: 5.8%

  • Asian: 4%

unemployment rate over the years - % of work force

source: Census note: 1970 number for blacks is actually from 1973

Average weekly salary (2003) Census

  • all workers - $620

  • White - $636

  • Black - $514

  • Hispanic - $440

  • Asian - $693

Where the facts are from

Facts pulled together with Steven Cytryn. Summer 2005.

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