1.5 Million Black Men Missing: Entrepreneurs Summit to Host Town Hall to Address Issues

Black Enterprise helming a solution-focused conversation during Atlanta event in May

black man in prison
(Image: Thinkstock)

For every 100 black women, ages 25 to 54, in the United States, there are only 83 black men. The Upshot concluded a report analyzing the number of missing African American men based on the 2010 census, the most recent government data counting residents, and found that black women in the age category who are not in jail outnumber black men by 1.5 million.

[Related: One Woman Reflects on Why ‘I Chose to Become an Ex-Black Woman in STEM’]

Black men are “missing from everyday life” in New York, Chicago and throughout the south. Ferguson, Mo, however, where Michael Brown was fatally shot by a police officer, has the single largest proportion of missing black men. With an African American population of at least 10,000, there are only 60 black men for every 100 black women in the mid-western city.

“More than one out of every six black men who today should be between 25 and 54 years old have disappeared from daily life,” according to The New York Times. Incarceration and premature deaths are reported to be the gap’s biggest drivers. Of the 1.5 million missing black men in what demographers call the prime-age years, imprisonment rates account for nearly 600,000. One in 12 black men as compared to one in 60 non-black men are incarcerated in this group.

The other leading cause is attributed to the high mortality rate. About 900,000 less prime-age black men than prime-age black women live in the U.S. It is not known exactly how much of the disparity is due to mortality, but it does appear to make up a big part. Homicide, which is young black men’s leading cause of death, is said to play a significant role, as well as deaths from heart disease, respiratory disease and accidents—more often than other demographic groups.

The gap between black men and women is nearly non-existent in childhood, as there are almost as many black boys as girls. The gap widens in teenage years, however, and widens even more through the 20s, peaking in the 30s and continuing throughout adulthood.

The social and economic implications from this are many. The black male’s absence disturbs the family dynamic, in turn leading to lower marriage rates and higher rates of children born outside of wedlock, shown through research by Kerwin Charles, an econimist at University of Chicar, and Ming-Ching Luoh. In states with higher incarceration rates of black men, black women are also more likely to work and futher their education than they are in other places.

The findings from this report are a major component of the crisis among black men in America. Black Enterprise is hosting a BE Town Hall, “Black Males Matter,” at the Entrepreneurs Summit May 13-16 in Atlanta. The discussion, moderated by Earl Graves Jr, President and CEO, Black Enterprise, is aimed at unveiling methods to manage obstacles directed toward black men without devaluing their lives and contributions. Joining the panel will be Roland Martin, journalist and host of NewsOne Now, and Cris Carter, entrepreneur and NFL Hall of Famer.

The Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Summit hosted by Nationwide is set for May 13–16, 2015 at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta. Expect innovative sessions, high-powered speakers, and an early peek at the products, trends, and services you’ll need to stay ahead of the curve. To register and find out more, visit www.blackenterprise.com/es/. Join us at the Entrepreneurs Summit, Where Innovation and Capital Meet.