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In this issue
  • Black women are more likely to own a business than women from any other racial group.
  • Arizona had the nation's highest coronavirus case rate (again) in January, plus more findings from new pandemic data.

Data for Black History Month 

Black History Month is an opportunity to use government data to understand and reflect on how Black Americans shape society. Here are just some data points pulled from USAFacts, with more to follow in upcoming newsletters. 

For starters, Black women are more likely to own their own business than any other racial group of women. In 2018, women overall ran 19% of all employer-based companies — but that rate jumped to 36.1% for businesses owned by Black women.

While Black Americans make up a disproportionately smaller share of traditional business owners and self-employed workers than the population overall, the numbers are growing. In 2002, there were 94,518 Black-owned businesses with employees. That increased to 124,000 in 2017, up 31.2%. For comparison, the US Black population increased 16.7% during that period.
Plus, here are new stats on educational attainment. Black students are close to reaching the overall national average for reaching a high school diploma or more.
 Stay tuned for more metrics during Black History Month.  

Five things the January data says about COVID-19  

The monthly coronavirus data deep dive is live at USAFacts. Here are takeaways from the five main findings on the pandemic, including speeding up vaccinations and variances in case rates by state.

Thirty-one states recorded more than 1,000 deaths in January, up from 25 states in December. Deaths in California were up 148%, jumping from 6,171 in December to 15,311 in January. While California accounts for 12% of the US population, it had 16% of January COVID-19 deaths. Illinois had 2,758 coronavirus deaths last month, a 34% drop from December, but was still in the top 10 states. 

Arizona had the highest case rate in January, with 3,273 positive cases per 100,000 residents. For comparison, it also led the nation in cases last July, when the state had 1,303 positive cases per 100,000 residents.

But there’s good news, too. New case rates are trending down nationwide, and more Americans have taken one or more doses of the vaccine than have contacted the virus over the entire course of the pandemic. In late January, President Joe Biden set a goal of reaching 1.5 million vaccinations a day. Since Inauguration Day, the US has averaged 1.3 million shots daily. 

See more about the pandemic in the first month of 2021


And finally...   

The coronavirus vaccine tracker is currently one of the most popular features at Use the tracker for updates on eligibility requirements and how the vaccine rollout is going, both in your state and nationally. At least 32,340,146 people in the US (9.8% of the population) have received one or more doses of vaccine as of February 8.

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