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Black people only make up 13% of the population. [1] Most people forget this fact when judging race in a population.

1) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_the_United_Stat...




I don't think that particular statistic by itself explains much of it; YC has funded over 200 founders, so if indeed the relevant population were 13% Black, that would imply an expectation of around 25 Black founders. I don't think anyone's asking why there aren't 50% Black founders, by why there aren't closer to 13%. (There may well be good explanations, but they have to be something other than the 13% total population number.)


Yeah, demographics and statistics are tough and mostly useless in this situation. For example, the DOE found that roughly 40% of people have merely a basic or "below basic" level of literacy, yet I doubt that's true of the YC alumni..


It doesn't really matter what the overall percentage in the population as a whole is, it's more of a question of their representative percentage in creating a technology startup, or as others have mentioned, it matters how many apply to YC.


Asians and those from the Middle East have an even smaller percentage but appear to be well represented in startups.


I'm sure there's a lack of women or blind people or people who can't speak or write English. The thing overly-PC types don't want to address is that certain fields attract certain types. Geeky males in tech, women and gay men in fashion, etc. The lack of population matching demographics isn't proof of racism.

That said, I'd argue that unless you grew up with computers and were interested in programming them early in life you probably aren't the startup type. Your income level affects this, obviously if you can't get your hands on a computer then you're not going to be able to do much. As a geek I never had any "role models" or other things that set me on my path. Nor did my parents encourage tech. Nor did my friends. I was, and in many ways, still am something of a lone geek amongst non-geeks. I believe "role models" to be a meaningless cop-out.


>That said, I'd argue that unless you grew up with computers and were interested in programming them early in life you probably aren't the startup type.

"That said, I'd argue that unless you grew up with money and were interested in trading early in life you probably aren't the wall-street type."

"That said, I'd argue that unless you grew up with movies and were interested in acting early in life you probably aren't the hollywood type."

Can we put aside this drivel? People can learn after they're 10 years old.


My point isn't that they can't do x or y if not by age z, but that if we see an income-based disparity on whether someone studies CS or starts a startup, it probably has a lot to do with being in an income bracket where your parents could afford to give you your own PC and the time to play with it. Not to mention being able to get into a decent CS program.

Perhaps this isn't much of an issue today where PCs are commodities, but if you grew up in the 1980s, like I did, then it probably was an issue. An Apple //e or a //c in the mid eighties was around $1500. That's over $3000 in today's money. Having parents with disposable income matters.


African Americans make up nearly 13% of the US, but only 6.2% of California. At UC Berkeley about 4% of undergrads are African American. Computer Science may be even less. You could maybe assume that YC alum are between 4-5% black.


I just realized I'm not asian, but rather white. :/

"In the US Census, people who originate from the original peoples of the East Asia, South Asia, and Southeast Asia are classified as part of the Asian race; while peoples from Siberia, Central Asia, and Western Asia are classified as "White".

Thanks for the link, though.


25% of black people live in poverty and about half have a household income of less than $50k.

I would say, in general, very few tech founders come out of poverty. I'd also say that relatively few come out of <$50k households (plenty of exceptions, here, of course). Most of the American founders I know come from pretty flush backgrounds.

Of course, I also read that the majority of funded startups are founded by people born outside of the states.




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