Ferguson riots: Nine charts which show what life is like if you're black in America

As those in the Missouri city sought a return to normal, residents across the US are beginning to consider what life will look like after Ferguson

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The Independent US

In the wake of the Ferguson protests, tensions over the state of race relations in the US have been brought firmly to the fore.

Thousands of protesters have taken to the streets across the country this week, while countless reports and commentators have discussed the grand jury decision not to indict Ferguson officer Darren Wilson, who shot and killed black unarmed teenager Michael Brown.

Writing for The Independent this week, Bonnie Greer said the reason Michael Brown was killed was because he was black.

Elsewhere, former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani faced immediate online backlash after asking why people protest the killing of the unarmed Mr Brown, but not black-on-black crime.

As those in Ferguson today sought a return to normal, with business owners boarding up broken windows and clearing away debris, residents across the US are beginning to consider what life will look like after Ferguson.

Below is a sample of statistics looking at what it means – and has meant since the middle of the 20th century – to be black in the US.

Figures from the Bureau of Justice reveal the startling statistic that the number of black or African American victims of homicide was almost 15 per cent higher than the number of white victims.

While the total number of black or African American victims of homicide stood at 7,380 in 2011 - a rate of 17.3 per 100,000 -  the total number of white homicide victims stood at 6,803, a rate of 2.8 per 100,000 residents.

Elsewhere, Bureau of Justice statistics also show that the rate of black people arrested per 100,000 has remained consistently higher than the rate of white people between 1980 and 2012.

The figures suggest the rate of white arrests has remained relatively steady, standing at 3,967.47 in 1980 and 3,392.33 in 2012.

The rate of black people arrested however rose from 9,447.05 in 1980, to a peak of 14,184.02 in 1989, before falling to 7,920.05 in 2012.

Economic figures meanwhile suggest there has been little progress in closing the economic gap between white people and black people in the US.

According to children's policy group Kids Count, in the five years between 2009 and 2013 the percentage of black or African American children living in poverty has remained well above the percentage of white children.

In 2013, the figure of black children living in poverty was 39 per cent, compared to 14 per cent of white children.

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Elsewhere, data published by the Economic Policy Institute shows how the ratio of black to white unemployment rate between 1963 and 2012 has remained consistently higher.

This, in part, may be due to the fact that, according to figures released by the US Census Bureau, between 1970 and 2008, the percentage of black college graduates aged 25 and above was consistently lower than their white counterparts.

While the number of white graduates rose from 11.3 per cent in 1970 to 30.2 per cent in 2008, the number of black graduates rose from 4.4 per cent to 19.8.

With a higher percentage of black children living in poverty, it is perhaps understandable therefore that, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2010, life expectancy for the black population was 3.8 years lower than the white population.

In 2008 however, the rate of black or African American people dying of heart disease was lower than that of the white popultion.

Cancer rates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention meanwhile vary not only on race, but also gender.

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Male cancer rates by race/ethnicity in the US, 1999-2011

While the highest rate of those with the disease overall was black males, white women were more likely to develop the condition than their black counterparts, between the years of 1999 and 2011.

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Female cancer rates by race/ethnicity in the US, 1999-2011

Last year's rates of those with healthcare insurance meanwhile reveal the percentage of black people with any type of cover stood at 84.1 per cent, more than six percentage points lower than those classed as white, not Hispanic.

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