These Are The 10 Kentucky Cities With The Largest Black Population For 2018


We used science and data to determine which cities in Kentucky have the largest African American population.

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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 Kentucky is 345,715 – at 7.8% of the total population of Kentucky.

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.

We agree.

But how has the increase in the black population impacted Kentucky? Which cities and towns in Kentucky have seen the greatest increase in its Black population?

We broke down the most recent census data to determine the cities in Kentucky with the largest African American population in 2018:

  1. Shively (Photos)
  2. Hopkinsville (Photos)
  3. Radcliff (Photos)
  4. Louisville (Photos)
  5. Oak Grove (Photos)
  6. Paducah (Photos)
  7. Lebanon (Photos)
  8. Russellville (Photos)
  9. Central City (Photos)
  10. Franklin (Photos)

Shively took the number one over all spot for the largest Black population in Kentucky for 2018. 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 Kentucky 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 Kentucky or the most diverse places in Kentucky.

How We Determined The Cities In Kentucky With The Largest Black Population For 2018

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 Kentucky.

That lead us to the Census’s most recently available data, the 2012-2016 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*
* Not Hispanic or latino

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 75 cities.

We then calculated the percent of residents that are Black or African American. The percentages ranked from 52.8% 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. Shively took the distinction of being the most Black, while Villa Hills was the least African American city.

Read on for more information on how the cities in Kentucky 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.

1. Shively

Shively, Kentucky

Population: 15,625
% African American: 52.8%
# Of African American Residents: 8,250
Percent Change Since 2010: 17.25%
More on Shively: Data | Jobs

Shively is a home rule-class city in Jefferson County, Kentucky, United States and a suburb of Louisville within the Louisville Metro government. As of the 2010 Census, the city’s population was 15,264, reflecting an increase of 107 from 15,157 in 2000.

2. Hopkinsville

Hopkinsville, Kentucky

Source: Public domain

Population: 32,442
% African American: 28.94%
# Of African American Residents: 9,388
Percent Change Since 2010: -8.65%
More on Hopkinsville: Data | Jobs

Hopkinsville is a home rule-class city in and the county seat of Christian County, Kentucky, United States. The population at the 2010 census was 31,577.

3. Radcliff

Radcliff, Kentucky

Population: 22,806
% African American: 26.05%
# Of African American Residents: 5,940
Percent Change Since 2010: 10.18%
More on Radcliff: Data | Jobs

Radcliff is a home rule-class city in Hardin County, Kentucky, in the United States. The population was 21,692 at the 2010 census, and in 2016 the estimated population was 22,490. It is included in the Elizabethtown-Fort Knox Metropolitan Area.

4. Louisville

Louisville, Kentucky

Source: Public domain

Population: 611,573
% African American: 22.65%
# Of African American Residents: 138,543
Percent Change Since 2010: 5.75%
More on Louisville: Data | Jobs

Louisville LOO–vl or LUUV-l) is the largest city in the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the 29th-most populous city in the United States. It is one of two cities in Kentucky designated as first-class, the other being the state’s second-largest city of Lexington. Louisville is the historical seat and, since 2003, the nominal seat of Jefferson County.

5. Oak Grove

Oak Grove, Kentucky

Population: 7,487
% African American: 21.97%
# Of African American Residents: 1,645
Percent Change Since 2010: 6.82%
More on Oak Grove: Data | Jobs

Oak Grove is a home rule-class city adjacent to the Fort Campbell army base in Christian County, Kentucky, in the United States. The population was 7,489 as of the 2010 U.S. Census. It is part of the Clarksville, Tennessee metropolitan area.

6. Paducah

Paducah, Kentucky

Population: 25,010
% African American: 20.95%
# Of African American Residents: 5,240
Percent Change Since 2010: -10.34%
More on Paducah: Data | Jobs

Paducah is a home rule-class city in and the county seat of McCracken County, Kentucky, United States. The largest city in the Jackson Purchase region, it is located at the confluence of the Tennessee and the Ohio Rivers, halfway between St. Louis, Missouri, to the northwest and Nashville, Tennessee, to the southeast. The population was 24,864 in 2015, down from 25,024 during the 2010 U.S. Census. Twenty blocks of the city’s downtown have been designated as a historic district and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

7. Lebanon

Lebanon, Kentucky

Population: 5,604
% African American: 19.24%
# Of African American Residents: 1,078
Percent Change Since 2010: 10.22%
More on Lebanon: Data | Jobs

Lebanon is a home rule-class city in Marion County, Kentucky, in the United States. The population was 6,331 at the 2010 census. It is the seat of its county. Lebanon is located in central Kentucky, southeast of Louisville. A national cemetery is located nearby.

8. Russellville

Russellville, Kentucky

Source: Public domain

Population: 6,998
% African American: 18.58%
# Of African American Residents: 1,300
Percent Change Since 2010: 17.75%
More on Russellville: Data | Jobs

Russellville is a home rule-class city in Logan County, Kentucky, in the United States. It is the seat of its county. The population was 6,947 at the time of the 2010 U.S. Census.

9. Central City

Central City, Kentucky

Population: 5,895
% African American: 17.79%
# Of African American Residents: 1,049
Percent Change Since 2010: 66.24%
More on Central City: Data | Jobs

Central City is a home rule-class city in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky, in the United States. The population was 5,978 at the 2010 census. It is also the largest city in the county and the principal community in the Central City Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Muhlenberg County.

10. Franklin

Franklin, Kentucky

Source: Public domain

Population: 8,706
% African American: 17.26%
# Of African American Residents: 1,503
Percent Change Since 2010: -3.34%
More on Franklin: Data | Jobs

Franklin is a home rule-class city in and the county seat of Simpson County, Kentucky, United States. The population was 8,408 at the 2010 census.

There You Have It – Black Populations Across Kentucky

If you’re looking for a breakdown of African American populations across Kentucky according to the most recent data, this is an accurate list.

If you’re curious enough, here are the least African American places in Kentucky:

  1. Villa Hills
  2. Edgewood
  3. Corbin

For more Kentucky reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Most African American Cities In Kentucky

Rank City Population % African American
1 Shively 15,625 52.8%
2 Hopkinsville 32,442 28.94%
3 Radcliff 22,806 26.05%
4 Louisville 611,573 22.65%
5 Oak Grove 7,487 21.97%
6 Paducah 25,010 20.95%
7 Lebanon 5,604 19.24%
8 Russellville 6,998 18.58%
9 Central City 5,895 17.79%
10 Franklin 8,706 17.26%
11 Frankfort 27,598 16.16%
12 Bowling Green 62,824 14.63%
13 Lexington 311,529 14.39%
14 Bardstown 13,026 13.95%
15 Mayfield 10,078 13.9%
16 Paris 9,836 13.05%
17 Madisonville 19,615 12.62%
18 Princeton 6,215 12.34%
19 Lyndon 11,310 12.16%
20 Jeffersontown 27,395 11.96%
21 Newport 15,321 11.17%
22 Covington 40,766 11.05%
23 Henderson 28,870 10.91%
24 Shelbyville 15,039 10.26%
25 Danville 16,645 10.2%
26 Elizabethtown 29,835 9.78%
27 Glasgow 14,338 8.84%
28 Maysville 8,883 8.83%
29 Versailles 9,091 8.81%
30 Richmond 33,583 8.5%
31 Douglass Hills 5,645 8.41%
32 Winchester 18,395 8.15%
33 Harrodsburg 8,409 7.78%
34 Georgetown 31,708 7.36%
35 Middlesborough 9,842 6.99%
36 Owensboro 58,685 6.93%
37 Mount Sterling 7,136 6.92%
38 Elsmere 8,488 6.57%
39 St. Matthews 17,930 6.5%
40 Middletown 7,773 6.33%
41 Campbellsville 11,329 6.32%
42 Murray 18,726 6.15%
43 Nicholasville 29,249 5.74%
44 Cynthiana 6,376 5.58%
45 Berea 14,667 4.58%
46 La Grange 8,481 4.39%
47 Leitchfield 6,850 4.36%
48 Florence 31,735 4.15%
49 Highland Heights 7,136 3.98%
50 Williamsburg 5,263 3.88%
51 Erlanger 18,565 3.6%
52 Lawrenceburg 11,081 3.18%
53 Morehead 7,615 3.14%
54 Somerset 11,415 2.86%
55 Pikeville 7,266 2.79%
56 Ashland 21,294 2.61%
57 Taylor Mill 6,719 2.49%
58 London 8,111 2.27%
59 Bellevue 5,879 2.06%
60 Fort Thomas 16,317 1.85%
61 Fort Mitchell 8,245 1.7%
62 Monticello 6,116 1.47%
63 Mount Washington 14,088 1.14%
64 Flatwoods 7,358 1.13%
65 Fort Wright 5,732 1.1%
66 Union 5,677 1.0%
67 Independence 26,317 0.78%
68 Shepherdsville 11,869 0.5%
69 Dayton 5,385 0.24%
70 Cold Spring 6,168 0.19%
71 Hillview 8,688 0.12%
72 Alexandria 8,878 0.09%
73 Corbin 7,306 0.08%
74 Edgewood 8,703 0.07%
75 Villa Hills 7,404 0.0%

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