1.5M Black Men Are Missing From Society Due To Jail & Death

April 21, 2015  |  

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Prepare to gasp: 1.5 million Black men are, in essence, “missing” from everyday society.

The reasons behind this gap are incarceration and early deaths, which hardly exists among whites.

According to a study by Upshot, Black women who are 25 to 54 and not in jail outnumber Black men by 1.5 million. Of the 1.5 million missing almost 600,000 are in prison. Nearly 1 in 12 Black men aged 25 to 54 are behind bars, versus 1 in 60 non-Black men in the age group. And Black men tend to die younger, with homicide unfortunately being the leading cause of death. They also die from heart disease, respiratory disease and accidents more often than other demographic groups, including Black women.

This phenomena has huge social ramifications. “African-American men have long been more likely to be locked up and more likely to die young, but the scale of the combined toll is nonetheless jarring. It is a measure of the deep disparities that continue to afflict Black men — disparities being debated after a recent spate of killings by the police — and the gender gap is itself a further cause of social ills, leaving many communities without enough men to be fathers and husbands,” reports The New York Times.

So when Black women say it’s hard to find Black men to date, it’s true. For every 100 Black women, there are just 83 Black men. Compare this to the white population, where on average there is only one missing white man for every 100 white women. (These numbers are for non-incarcerated adults, 25 to 54.)

The imbalance has not only resulted in Black women looking outside of their race for mates, but has also driven Black women to be more self-sufficient in order to support a household. In fact, in states with high incarceration rates, Black women are more likely to work and to pursue higher education than they are elsewhere.

The ratio is bigger depending on the city. In cities with sizable Black populations, the largest single gap is interestingly in Ferguson, Mo. where there are 40 missing Black men for every 100 Black women.

New York has nearly 120,000 Black men between the ages of 25 and 54 missing from daily life, while in Chicago, 45,000 are, and more than 30,000 in Philadelphia. But the biggest gap between Black men and Black women is in the South — from North Charleston, S.C., through Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi and up into Ferguson, Mo. In this region of the country, hundreds of thousands more Black men are missing. More interestingly, the majority of Blacks reside in areas where there is a large shortage of Black men. Most whites, however, live in cities that have a near parity between white men and women.

The region with the smallest gap between Black men and Black women is the West.

The good news is there are indications that the number of missing Black men may soon decline, though slowly as the death rates among them are continuing to fall and even the number of people in prisons has also dropped a bit over the last five years.

Still the numbers are high. “There are more missing African-American men nationwide than there are African-American men residing in all of New York City — or more than in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Detroit, Houston, Washington and Boston, combined,” reports the Times.

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