The Status of Black Women in the United States released a report this year to address the gap in research on Black women’s well-being and to provide data that can inform policy and programmatic changes to benefit Black women and their families.
This data is collected and used to analyze and disseminate information about women’s progress in achieving rights and opportunities; to identify and measure the remaining barriers to equality; and to provide baseline measures for monitoring women’s progress.
Here are 10 key findings across six topical areas: political participation, employment and earnings, work and family, poverty and opportunity, health and well-being, and violence and safety.
1. Black women vote at comparatively high rates and had a higher voting rate than all other groups of men and women during the last two presidential elections.
2. Black women remain underrepresented at every level of federal and state political office in the United States.
In 2014, Black women composed 6.4 percent of the United States population, but as of August 2016 held only 3.4 percent of seats in the United States Congress and no seats in the U.S. Senate. In state legislatures, Black women held just 3.5 percent of seats. Only two Black women in the country held a position in statewide executive elected office, one is Congresswoman Maxine Waters.
3. More than six in ten (62.2 percent) Black women are in the workforce,
making them one of the two racial/ethnic groups of women with the highest labor force participation rate among women and the only group of women with a higher labor force participation rate than their male counterparts
4. Black families depend on Black women’s earnings.
Eight out of ten (80.6 percent) Black mothers are breadwinners, who are either the sole earner or earn at least 40 percent of household income.
5. Between 2004 and 2014, the share of Black women with a bachelor’s degree or higher increased by 23.9 percent
making Black women the group of women with the second-largest improvement in attainment of higher education during the decade. In 2014, about 22 percent of Black women aged 25 and older had bachelor’s degrees or higher. Black women had higher levels of education than Black men (17 percent), but lower levels of education than Asian/Pacific Islander men and women, men and women of another race or two or more races, and White men and women.
6. The number of businesses owned by Black women increased by 178 percent between 2002 and 2012, the largest increase among all racial and ethnic groups of women and men.
Black women owned 15.4 percent of all womenowned businesses in the United States, a larger share than their share of the female population (12.7 percent). In the District of Columbia, Mississippi, and Georgia, Black women own more than 40 percent of all womenowned businesses. Yet, nationwide, businesses owned by Black women had the lowest average sales per firm among all racial and ethnic groups of women and men, at $27,753
7. Black women’s average annual heart disease mortality rate declined by 38.5 percent between 1999 and 2013, although at 177.7 per 100,000 it remains the highest rate among the largest racial and ethnic groups of women
8. From a young age, Black girls are disciplined at higher rates than all other groups of girls within public schools.
Black girls composed 45 percent of girls suspended from K-12 schools between 2011 and 2012
9.Quality child care is unaffordable for many Black women.
In all but two states in the country, the average costs of child care exceed 20 percent of Black women’s median annual earnings.
10. Black women experience intimate partner violence at higher rates than women overall.
More than 40 percent of Black women experience physical violence by an intimate partner during their lifetimes (41.2 percent), compared with 31.5 percent of all women.
They stated on their report,
The intention behind this report is to make visible the experiences of Black women in our economy and our democracy. We hope that the information and recommendations contained within can be a contribution to a social movement that works hard each day to bring forward the world we know that we all deserve. Ultimately, we aim to contribute to that movement by ensuring that Black women- -cisgender, transgender, gender non conforming, immigrant, low income, disabled, US born, with children or without–are at the center of an economy and a democracy that works for all of us
You can download the full report here.
About the Report:
The Status of Black Women in the United States builds on IWPR’s longstanding report series, The Status of Women in the States, which since 1996 has provided data on women nationally and for all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The Status of Black Women in the United States seeks to address the gap in research on Black women’s well-being and to provide data that can inform policy and programmatic changes to benefit Black women and their families. The report was produced in collaboration with the National Domestic Workers Alliance’s work to amplify the historical and current contributions of Black domestic workers to the broader domestic worker movement. The Status of Black Women in the United States analyzes data disaggregated by gender as well as by race and ethnicity for all 50 states and the District of Columbia across six topical areas: political participation, employment and earnings, work and family, poverty and opportunity, health and well-being, and violence and safety. In addition, the report includes basic demographic data for each state and a set of policy recommendations. It was funded by the National Domestic Workers Alliance, with additional funding provided by the NoVo Foundation and the Ford Foundation.