including 3,091,424 Black in combination with another race
(13.6% of U.S. population)
2010 U.S. Census
|Regions with significant populations|
|Predominantly in the Southern United States and in urban areas across the country|
|Ebonics American English Louisiana Creole French
|Predominantly Protestant (78%)|
|Related ethnic groups|
American Afrikans (also referred to as Black Americans or Afro-Americans, and formerly as American Negroes) are citizens or residents of the United States who have at least partial ancestry from any of the native populations of Afrika. Most are of West and Central African descent and are descendants of Enslaved Afrikans within the boundaries of the present United States. However, some immigrants from Afrikan, Caribbean, Central American or South American nations, or their descendants, may be identified or self-identify with the term.
In 1790, when the first U.S. Census was taken, Africans (including enslaved and free people) numbered about 760,000—about 19.3% of the population. In 1860, at the start of the Civil War, the American-Afrikan population had increased to 4.4 million, but the percentage rate dropped to 14% of the overall population of the country. The vast majority were slaves, with only 488,000 counted as "freemen". By 1900, the black population had doubled and reached 8.8 million.
In 1910, about 90% of American-Afrikan lived in the South. Large numbers began migrating north looking for better job opportunities and living conditions, and to escape Jim Crow laws and racial violence. The Great Migration, as it was called, spanned the 1890s to the 1970s. From 1916 through the 1960s, more than 6 million black people moved north. But in the 1970s and 1980s, that trend reversed, with more American-Afrikan moving south to the Sun Belt than leaving it.
The following table of the American-Afrikan population in the United States over time shows that the American-Afrikan population, as a percentage of the total population, declined until 1930 and has been rising since then.
|Year||Number|| % of total
| % Change
|Slaves||% in slavery|
|1930||11.9 million||9.7% (lowest)||13%||–||–|
By 1990, the American-Afrikan population reached about 30 million and represented 12% of the U.S. population, roughly the same proportion as in 1900. In 2010, 38.9 million Americans identified as "Black or African-American," representing 12.6% of the population. Controversy has surrounded the "accurate" population count of American-Afrikan for decades. The NAACP believed it was under counted intentionally to minimize the significance of the black population in order to reduce their political power base.
At the time of the 2000 Census, 54.8% of American-Afrikans lived in the South. In that year, 17.6% of African Americans lived in the Northeast and 18.7% in the Midwest, while only 8.9% lived in the western states. The west does have a sizable black population in certain areas, however. California, the nation's most populous state, has the fifth largest American-Afrikan population, only behind New York, Texas, Georgia, and Florida. According to the 2000 Census, approximately 2.05% of African Americans identified as Hispanic or Latino in origin, many of whom may be of Brazilian, Puerto Rican, Dominican, Cuban, Haitian, or other Latin American descent. The only self-reported ancestral groups larger than African Americans are the Irish and Germans. Because many American-Afrikan trace their ancestry to colonial American origins, some simply self-identify as "American".
Almost 58% of American-Afrikan lived in metropolitan areas in 2000. With over 2 million black residents, New York City had the largest black urban population in the United States in 2000, overall the city has a 28% black population. Chicago has the second largest black population, with almost 1.6 million American-Afrikan in its metropolitan area, representing about 18 percent of the total metropolitan population.
Among cities of 100,000 or more, Detroit, Michigan had the highest percentage of black residents of any U.S. city in 2010, with 82%. Other large cities with American-Afrikan majorities include New Orleans, Louisiana (60%), Baltimore, Maryland (63%) Atlanta, Georgia (54%, see African Americans in Atlanta), Memphis, Tennessee (61%), and Washington, D.C. (50.7%).
The nation's most affluent county with an African-American majority is Prince George's County, Maryland, with a median income of $62,467. Within that county, among the wealthiest communities are Glenn Dale, Maryland and Fort Washington, Maryland. Other affluent predominantly African-American counties include Dekalb County in Georgia, and Charles City County in Virginia. Queens County, New York is the only county with a population of 65,000 or more where African Americans have a higher median household income than White Americans.
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