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The Black community is one of the fastest growing communities in America this decade.
There are now 42 million people who identify as Black or African American living in America, making up 12% of the total population. According to the most recent American Community Survey, the Black population in Iowa is 116,206 - at 3.7% of the total population of Iowa.
The percentage growth of Blacks in America is the third largest percentage change for any race according to the Census's race and ethnicity definition. As most scholars and historians agree, an increase in the diversity in America is a good thing.
But how has the increase in the black population impacted Iowa? Which cities and towns in Iowa have seen the greatest increase in its Black population?
We broke down the most recent census data to determine the cities in Iowa with the largest African American population in 2023:
What's the blackest city in Iowa? Waterloo took the number one over all spot for the largest Black population in Iowa for 2023. See if it ranked as one of the most african american cities in America.
Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers and how your town ranked.
To see where Iowa ranked as a state on diversity, we have a ranking of the most diverse states in America.
And if you already knew these places were Black, check out the best places to live in Iowa or the most diverse places in Iowa.
The 10 Blackest Cities In Iowa For 2023
% African American: 17.08%
# Of African American Residents: 11,563
Percent Change Since 2010: 13.88%
More on Waterloo: Real Estate | Data | Photos
% African American: 12.96%
# Of African American Residents: 2,880
Percent Change Since 2010: 66.76%
More on Coralville: Real Estate | Data | Photos
3. Des Moines
% African American: 10.89%
# Of African American Residents: 23,252
Percent Change Since 2010: 20.12%
More on Des Moines: Real Estate | Data | Photos
% African American: 10.74%
# Of African American Residents: 10,929
Percent Change Since 2010: 7.34%
More on Davenport: Real Estate | Data | Photos
% African American: 10.39%
# Of African American Residents: 1,003
Percent Change Since 2010: 522.98%
More on Fairfield: Real Estate | Data | Photos
% African American: 9.87%
# Of African American Residents: 2,312
Percent Change Since 2010: 5680.0%
More on Johnston: Real Estate | Data | Photos
7. Cedar Rapids
% African American: 8.6%
# Of African American Residents: 11,736
Percent Change Since 2010: 77.12%
More on Cedar Rapids: Real Estate | Data | Photos
8. Iowa City
% African American: 8.2%
# Of African American Residents: 6,090
Percent Change Since 2010: 111.83%
More on Iowa City: Real Estate | Data | Photos
% African American: 8.12%
# Of African American Residents: 1,963
Percent Change Since 2010: 12.82%
More on Burlington: Real Estate | Data | Photos
% African American: 6.43%
# Of African American Residents: 535
Percent Change Since 2010: 469.15%
More on Denison: Real Estate | Data | Photos
Methodology: How We Determined The Cities In Iowa With The Largest Black Population For 2023
We still believe in the accuracy of data -- especially from the census. So that's where we went to get the breakdown of race across Iowa.
That lead us to the Census's most recently available data, the 2017-2021 American Community Survey data from the US Census.
Specifically, we looked at table B03002: Hispanic OR LATINO ORIGIN BY RACE. Here are the category names as defined by the Census:
- Hispanic or Latino
- White alone*
- Black or African American alone*
- American Indian and Alaska Native alone*
- Asian alone*
- Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone*
- Some other race alone*
- Two or more races*
Our particular column of interest here was the number of people who identified as Black or African American.
We limited our analysis to non-CDPs with a population greater than 5,000 people. That left us with 76 cities.
We then calculated the percent of residents that are Black or African American. The percentages ranked from 17.1% to 0.0%.
Finally, we ranked each city based on the percent of Black population with a higher score being more Black than a lower score. Waterloo took the distinction of being the most Black, while Manchester was the least African American city. You can download the data here.
Read on for more information on how the cities in Iowa ranked by population of African American residents or, for a more general take on diversity in America, head over to our ranking of the most diverse cities in America.
Summary: Black Populations Across Iowa
If you're looking for a breakdown of African American populations across Iowa according to the most recent data, this is an accurate list.
If you're curious enough, here are the least African American places in Iowa:
- Red Oak
For more Iowa reading, check out:
African American Population By City In Iowa
|Rank||City||% African American|
|27||West Des Moines||3.86%|