African Americans in Wisconsin
All external hyperlinks are provided for your information
and for the benefit of the general public. The Department of Health Services does not testify to, sponsor, or endorse the accuracy of the
information provided on externally linked pages.
"African American" or "black" refers to people having
origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa1. In this
report the terms "African American" and "black" are used
interchangeably. African Americans and other black residents of Wisconsin are
a heterogeneous population, including African and Caribbean immigrants and
residents. These diverse groups have varying levels of health status related
to differences in economic, educational, geographic, social and cultural
In July 2008, 41 million people in the United States, or 13.5 percent of
the civilian non institutionalized population, were Black2. They
are the second largest minority population, following the Hispanic/Latino
population3. In 2007, 80 percent of African Americans 25 years and
over had earned at least a high school diploma, compared to 89 percent of the
White population4. More Black women than Black men had earned at
least a bachelor's degree (16 percent compared with 14 percent), while among
non-Hispanic Whites, a higher proportion of men than women had earned at
least a bachelor's degree (25 percent and 24 percent, respectively), in 20065.
In 2005, the death rate for African Americans in the US was higher than
Whites for heart diseases, stroke, cancer, asthma, influenza and pneumonia,
diabetes, HIV/AIDS, and homicide6.
Wisconsin's African American population totaled 348,308 in 2008, which was
6.1% of the State total of 5,672,297. The African American population has
increased 9.7% since the 2000 Census. Milwaukee County is home to 240,203
African Americans, comprising 69.4% of Wisconsin's African American
population. This group is the largest racial minority group in Wisconsin.
Nearly 90% of Wisconsin's African American population lives in the
following six counties, all of which are located in Southeastern or Southern
Wisconsin, including Milwaukee, Dane, Racine, Kenosha, Rock, and Waukesha.
When looking at African Americans as a percent of the total county population
Milwaukee County tops this list, with 25.6%.
Wisconsin's African American population is relatively young, with a median
age of 28.4 years in 2008, compared to 38.2 years for the total State
population (Source: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey.)
Thirty-five percent of African Americans were under age 18, compared to 23
percent of the State population. Also, while 13% of Wisconsin's population
was age 65+, only 6% of the African American population was 65 or older.
Back to Minority Populations in Wisconsin
- Minority Health Report, 2001-2005
- Minority Health Profile, created by the Minority Health Program
Additional Information About African Americans in Wisconsin:
Back to Page Links
Back to Top
If you have any comments about this page or suggestions for improving it,
please write to: Ruth DeWeese.
PDF: The free Adobe Reader® software
is needed to view and print portable document format (PDF) files.
Last Revised: May 17, 2012