New Report Examines the Status of Black Women in the United States

A new report issued by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research on behalf of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, finds that despite significant progress in higher education, voter participation, and business ownership, Black women continue to lag behind other women in many socioeconomic indicators.

In the political arena, there is only one Black woman in the U.S. Senate and African American women hold only 4 percent of the seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and in state legislatures. In August 2016, only two Black women held statewide elected office.

Some other key statistics found in the report:

  • Black women who worked full-time, year-round, have median earnings that are 64.6 percent of White men’s earnings.
  • Eight of every 10 Black mothers are the breadwinners in their families.
  • The labor participation rate of Black women is higher than the rate for Black men. Blacks are the only major racial/ethnic group where women are more likely than men to be in the labor force.
  • Black women own more than 40 percent of women-owned businesses but the average sales per firm were the lowest of any group.
  • Nearly a quarter of all Black women live in poverty, compared to 18.9 percent of Black men and 10.8 percent of White women.
  • Black women were twice as likely as White women to be in prison. For women ages 18-19, Blacks were four times as likely as Whites to be incarcerated.

The report, The Status of Black Women in the United States, may be downloaded here.


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  1. I read the above information and I plan to conduct additional research in this area because it would a interesting doctoral paper.

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