The size and regional distribution of the black population
Census 2000 counted over 35 million non-Hispanic blacks, as shown in Table 1.This represents over 12 percent of the U.S. population. The non-Hispanic black population grew by over six million people, a growth rate of almost 21 percent, since the last decennial census. More than nine out of ten of these were African American (based on our classification of persons using 2000 PUMS), but the percentage of other black groups is growing rapidly (from 4.0 percent in 1990, based on 1990 PUMS data, to 6.1 percent in 2000).
We now classify over 1.5 million blacks as Afro-Caribbeans and over 600 thousand as African. The Afro-Caribbean population grew by more than 618,000 (almost 67%) and Africans grew more than 383,000 (a growth rate of almost 167%, approaching a tripling of the African population). These two groups combined, despite being much smaller than the African American population, contributed about 17 percent of the six million increase in the non-Hispanic black population during the 1990’s. Although not an often-recognized part of the American ethnic mosaic, both of these groups are emerging as large and fast-growing populations; Afro-Caribbeans now outnumber and are growing faster than such well-established ethnic minorities as Cubans and Koreans.
Analysis of all 331 metropolitan regions reveals distinct residential patterns of African Americans, Afro-Caribbeans, and Africans. Consider the ten metropolitan regions with the largest representation of the latter two groups. These are listed in Tables 2-3. New York, Boston, Washington, D.C., and Atlanta are the metros represented in both tables.
Like African Americans, who are present in large numbers in many metro areas, Africans are dispersed throughout the country. Only a quarter of Africans live in one of the ten largest metropolitan regions for the group and these metro areas are geographically dispersed.?In contrast, Afro-Caribbeans are heavily concentrated in just a few metro areas, all on the East coast. Six out of ten live in the New York, Miami, and Ft. Lauderdale metro areas, nearly 600,000 in New York alone.