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The U.S. Census Bureau released today a 2010 Census brief, The Black Population: 2010 [PDF], that shows 14 percent of all people in the United States identified as black, either alone or in combination with one or more other races. In 2010, 55 percent of the black population lived in the South, and 105 Southern counties had a black population of 50 percent or higher.
Of the total U.S. population of 308.7 million on April 1, 2010, 38.9 million people, or 13 percent, identified as black alone. In addition, 3.1 million people, or 1 percent, reported as black in combination with one or more other races. Together, these two groups comprise the black alone-or-in-combination population and totaled 42.0 million.
The black alone-or-in-combination population grew by 15 percent from 2000 to 2010, while the black alone population grew by 12 percent compared with a 9.7 percent growth rate for the total U.S. population.
Black and White Multiple-Race Population More Than Doubled
People who reported their race as both black and white more than doubled from about 785,000 in 2000 to 1.8 million in 2010. This group’s share of the multiple-race black population increased from 45 percent in 2000 to 59 percent in 2010.
Majority of the Black Population Lived in the South
Compared with 2000, the percentage of the black alone-or-in-combination population increased in the South, stayed about the same in the West, and decreased in the Northeast and the Midwest. Of all respondents who reported black in 2010, 55 percent lived in the South, 18 percent in the Midwest, 17 percent in the Northeast and 10 percent in the West.
The percentage of the black alone population also increased in the South, from 55 percent in 2000 to 57 percent in 2010, whereas it decreased in the Northeast and the Midwest. The black alone-or-in-combination population comprised 50 percent or more of the total population in 106 counties. All these counties were in the South except for the city of St. Louis, which is considered a county equivalent. In contrast, 62 percent of all counties had less than 5 percent of the population identified as black. These patterns were similar for the black alone population.
Concentrations of blacks outside of the South tended to be in counties within metropolitan areas. There were 317 counties where the black alone-or-in-combination population was 25.0 to 49.9 percent of the population, and only 17 of these counties were not in the South. Of these 17, 15 were in metropolitan areas.
Multiple-Race Black Population More Geographically Dispersed
A considerably higher percentage of the multiple-race black population lived in the West (23 percent), relative to the black alone population (9 percent). While a large percentage of the multiple-race black population lived in the South (36 percent), this was much lower than the black alone population (57 percent).
About 60 Percent of Blacks Lived in 10 States
The 10 states with the largest black alone-or-in-combination populations in 2010 were New York (3.3 million), Florida (3.2 million), Texas (3.2 million), Georgia (3.1 million), California (2.7 million), North Carolina (2.2 million), Illinois (2.0 million), Maryland (1.8 million), Virginia (1.7 million) and Ohio (1.5 million). Among these states, four experienced substantial growth between 2000 and 2010. The black alone-or-in-combination population in Florida grew by 29 percent, Georgia by 28 percent, Texas by 27 percent and North Carolina by 21 percent.
Of the 10 states above, nine also had the largest black alone populations. The state with the 10th largest black alone population was Louisiana (1.5 million), replacing Ohio (1.4 million). Similar to the black alone-or-in-combination population, the black alone population also experienced considerable growth in Florida, Georgia, Texas and North Carolina.
The District of Columbia, which is treated as a state equivalent in this report, had the highest percentage of blacks alone-or-in-combination among states, with 52 percent in 2010, even though this population decreased by 10 percent between 2000 and 2010. Similar findings were also observed for the black alone population.
Detroit had the Highest Percentage of Blacks Among Largest Places
Among places with populations of 100,000 or more, the highest percentage of blacks alone-or-in-combination was found in Detroit (84 percent), followed by Jackson, Miss. (80 percent), Miami Gardens, Fla. (78 percent) and Birmingham, Ala. (74 percent). These four places also had the highest percentage of the black alone population.
People who reported only one race on their 2010 Census questionnaire are referred to as the race“alone” population. For example, respondents who marked only the “black or African American” category would be included in the black alone population. This population can be viewed as the minimum number of people reporting black.
Individuals who chose more than one of the six race category options on the 2010 Census form are referred to as the race “in combination” population. One way to define the black population is to combine those respondents who reported black alone with those who reported black in combination with one or more other races. Another way to think of the black alone-or-in-combination population is the total number of people who reported black, whether or not they reported any other races.