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Black/African American

Population Statistics
  • In the United States, 13.6% of the population (45.3 million people) identified themselves as Black or African American in 2021. The Black immigrant population in the nation is an estimated 4.2 million, almost half from the Caribbean and 39% from Africa
  • Most than half of the nation’s Black and African American population lives in the South (56%), 17% live in the Northeast and Midwest respectively, and 10% live in the West
  • The poverty rate of Black and African Americans (21.7%) is twice that of non-Hispanic White Americans (9.5%)
  • Roughly 10% of Black and African Americans are not covered by health insurance, compared with about 6% of non-Hispanic White Americans
Behavioral Health Concerns

Behavioral Health Concerns

According to the 2021 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH):

  • Twenty-one percent of Black and African Americans reported having a mental illness, compared to 23.9% of non-Hispanic Whites. However, just 39% of Black and African Americans received mental health services compared to non-Hispanic Whites (52%)
  • Black Americans have similar rates of substance use disorder (17%) as non-Hispanic Whites, but higher rates of illicit drug use (24.3 vs 22.5 respectively) and unmet treatment needs (16.4% vs 15.7%, respectively)

A report published in November 2021 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed suicide rates decreased in the United States by 3% in 2020, but increased among many men of color, including Black men, during that period.

Black and African Americans and other minority groups, experience barriers to behavioral health services and care including:

  • Experiences of bias, stemming from historical, structural, and systemic racism, and discrimination
  • Mental Health stigma which hinders Black and African Americans from seeking help
  • Mistrust of the health care system, access barriers and negative encounters with care professionals
  • Provider shortage due to the limited from diverse racial/ethnic backgrounds (only 2% of psychiatrists and 4% of psychologists in the United States are Black)
  • Lack of culturally competent providers to meet cultural, social, and language-related needs
coe african american health center banner

African American Behavioral Health Center for Excellence

Developing and disseminating training, technical assistance (TA), and written and recorded resources to help behavioral health and our allied fields eliminate disparities for the diverse Black and African American population.

HBCU Center for Excellence in Behavioral Health

HBCU Center for Excellence in Behavioral Health

The Historically Black Colleges and Universities Center for Excellence in Behavioral Health (HBCU CoE) illuminates inequities and fosters solutions for marginalized communities impacted by substance use disorders and serious mental illness.

Last Updated
Last Updated: 05/25/2023
Last Updated