The traditional migration of blacks from the South to the urban centers of the North and West ended in the 1970s. But other traditional conditions - including poverty and the low spot on the employment totem pole - persisted, the Census Bureau said.
Blacks posted gains in home ownership, education, and voter-registration. Single-parent families headed by women accounted for 70 percent of all poor black families.
The number of blacks in the civilian work force increased by 2.7 million or 31 percent between 1972 and 1982, and the number of employed blacks grew by 1.4 million, or 19 percent. But the number of black people who were unemployed rose 140 percent - from 900,000 in 1972 to 2.1 million in 1982.
In 1980, 53 percent of the nation's blacks lived in the South - the same proportion as in 1970. About 60 percent of the nation's black population lived in central cities - an increase of 13 percent.
The report, ''America's Black Population: 1970 to 1982,'' used data from the Census Bureau, the Labor Department, and other government agencies to assess the social and economic position of black Americans.
It noted some gain in income for blacks; the median income for black married-couple families increased 6.9 percent between 1971 and 1981. Such families, however, made up only 55 percent of all black families in 1982, compared to 64 percent in 1972.