(Reuters) - Democratic candidate Barack Obama became the first black president of the United States with his win in Tuesday’s election, a milestone in a country with a long legacy of racial oppression of African Americans.
Stark racial disparities persist in the United States.
Following is a list of some inequalities.
— The infant mortality rate for babies of black women is 2.4 times the rate for babies of white women, according to a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report in October.
— Doctors are less likely to give black women radiation therapy after surgery to remove early-stage breast cancer than white women, according to a study by the Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in September.
— The study was one of many to show that U.S. blacks get inferior care for cancer and other ailments compared to that given whites, although doctors have struggled to understand why.
— Life expectancy for the white population exceeded that for the black population by 5.1 years, the figures said.
— The maternal mortality rate was 3.3 times greater for the black population than for the white population.
— 6.1 percent of the overall U.S. labor force was unemployed in the third quarter of 2008, but 11.4 percent of the black labor force was out of work, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics.
— The total median income for a white family was $64,427 in 2007. The total for a black family was $40,143, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.
— 10.6 percent of the white U.S. population in 2007 lived below the official poverty threshold of $21,000 for a family of four, compared to 24.4 percent of the black population, the data said.
— 14.3 percent of white Americans lacked health insurance compared to 19.2 percent of black Americans, according to 2007 U.S. census data.
— 72 percent of white Americans own their own homes, compared with 46 percent of African Americans, the data said.
— 0.8 percent of the white male population is incarcerated as opposed to 4.6 percent of the black male population, according to U.S. Department of Justice statistics.
— 10.7 percent of the black male population aged 30-34 was incarcerated, versus 1.9 percent of the white male population of the same age, according to the same statistics.
— 1,406 black men are incarcerated in the United States for every 100,000 people. For white men that figure is 773 for every 100,000, according to U.S. Department of Justice figures.
— Rates for the number of women imprisoned were much lower than for males, though for black women rates were higher than for white women.
— Public schools in the United States are becoming more racially segregated and the trend is likely to accelerate because of a Supreme Court decision in June, according to a report by the Civil Rights Project of the University of California Los Angeles.
— The rise in segregation threatens the quality of education received by nonwhite students, who make up 43 percent of the total U.S. student body, the report said.
— Many segregated schools struggle to attract highly qualified teachers and administrators. This leads to soaring drop-out rates and students not well prepared for college.
— The percentage of white public school students fell from 80 to 57 percent between 1968 and 2005 and Latino enrollment nearly quadrupled during that period.
Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services/CDC; U.S. Department of Justice; U.S. Census Bureau.
Writing by David Cutler, London Editorial Reference Unit, editing by Matthew Bigg and Patricia Zengerle