As of March, 2002 there were found to be 36 million African Americans living in the United States. This makes up about 13 percent of our civilian population. It is found that of the 36 million African Americans about 55% of them live in the southern regions of our country while 18% live in the Northeast and Midwest and only 9% live in the West. It was found that the African American Population is younger then that of the Non-Hispanic White population. This greatly affects the political aspects of this minority group since nearly 33% of the 36 million African Americans are in fact under the age of 18 while only 8% is older than 65 years of age. Since the voting age is 18, this means that nearly a third of the African American population can not in fact vote. The census also shows that African Americans are less likely to be married despite the fact that they are still having children. Unemployment was also found to be higher among African Americans and that this group makes up for a quarter of the populations poverty. These low income single household families which make up a vast number of this minority group may affect their political ambitions and views. Due to lack of finances and low support from single parents trying to make ends meet can lead to a lack of education which has long been proven to affect political participation. .
There are many issues that continually affect African Americans on a daily basis. Some of these issues are political while others are simply a social matter. One of the most controversial and well known issues affecting all minorities, including African Americans is the debate over affirmative action. Affirmative action was established as a way of correcting history's mistakes which caused many minorities suffering, especially the African Americans. It is a program designed to give preference to applicants based on their membership in a historically discriminated racial, ethnic or gender minority.