Indexing Race in the US at the Dawn of the “Age of Obama”

By Guest Columnist Jan 27, 2009

Andrew Grant-Thomas Deputy Director Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity Date on which Ireland’s largest bookmaker started paying off bets on Barack Obama as the next president of the United States: October 16, 2008. Percentage of South Koreans who told Gallup in 2008 that who won the US presidential election would matter to their country: 79%. Percentage of Mexicans who said this: 35%. Value of US exports of corn, Mexico’s staple crop and largest source of rural employment, to Mexico in 2006: $2.5 billion. Estimated number of years it will take for the black-white homeownership gap to disappear if current trends continue: 1,664. Child poverty rates of non-Hispanic whites, African Americans, American Indians/Alaska Natives, Asian Americans and Latinos, respectively, in 2007: 11, 35, 33, 12 and 27 percent. Rank of the US among the 30 most affluent countries in life expectancy: 24. Rank of the US among all countries in health care expenditure: 1. Year in which the Supreme Court declared bans on “interracial” marriage unconstitutional: 1967. Change in the number of interracial marriages between 1960 and 2000: +832%. Percentage of whites, according to a recent ABC News Poll, who think of themselves first as Americans, rather than as members of a racial group: 87%. Percentage of African Americans who do: 51%. Rise in the percentage of African Americans who think of themselves first as Americans between September 2008 and January 2009: +5%. Percentage of Democrats who think Obama will help race relations in the United States: 75%. Percentage of Republicans who think so: 43%. People of color as a proportion of the US population: 35 in 100. People of color as a proportion of the last 100 million additions to the US population: 66 in 100. Number of US Senators who are non-Hispanic white men: 78 in 100. Percentage of all US Senate employees in 2006 who were people of color: 6. Number of US presidents: 44. Number of US presidents who have not been white men: 1.