Rhode Island Cities With The Largest Black Population For 2020

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

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Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the cities in Rhode Island with 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 rhode island is 59,001 – at 5.6% of the total population of rhode island.

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 rhode island? Which cities and towns in rhode island have seen the greatest increase in its Black population?

We broke down the most recent census data to determine the cities in rhode island with the largest African American population in 2020:

  1. Pawtucket (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  2. Providence (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  3. Central Falls (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  4. Woonsocket (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  5. East Providence (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  6. Cranston (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  7. Newport (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  8. Warwick (Photos | Homes For Sale)

What’s the blackest city in Rhode Island? Pawtucket took the number one over all spot for the largest Black population in rhode island for 2020. 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 rhode island 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 rhode island or the most diverse places in rhode island.

The 10 Blackest Cities In Rhode Island For 2020

Pawtucket, RI

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 71,756
% African American: 16.35%
# Of African American Residents: 11,735
Percent Change Since 2010: 0.98%
More on Pawtucket: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Pawtucket is a city in Providence County, Rhode Island, United States. The population was 71,148 at the 2010 census. It is the fourth largest city in the state.

Providence, RI

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Population: 179,435
% African American: 13.31%
# Of African American Residents: 23,879
Percent Change Since 2010: 1.92%
More on Providence: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Providence is the capital and most populous city of the U.S. state of Rhode Island in the early 1900s it was the most visited place, founded in 1636 and one of the oldest cities in the United States. It was founded by Roger Williams, a religious exile from the Massachusetts Bay Colony. He named the area in honor of “God’s merciful Providence” which he believed was responsible for revealing such a haven for him and his followers to settle. The city is situated at the mouth of the Providence River at the head of Narragansett Bay.

Central Falls, RI

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Population: 19,382
% African American: 9.65%
# Of African American Residents: 1,870
Percent Change Since 2010: 5.59%
More on Central Falls: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Central Falls is a city in Providence County, Rhode Island, United States. The population was 19,376 at the 2010 census. With an area of only 1.29 square miles, it is the smallest and most densely populated city in the smallest state, and the 27th most densely populated incorporated place in the United States. It is also one of only four incorporated places in New England that have a higher population density than the city of Boston. The city takes its name from a waterfall on the Blackstone River.

Woonsocket, RI

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 41,539
% African American: 6.73%
# Of African American Residents: 2,797
Percent Change Since 2010: 79.76%
More on Woonsocket: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Woonsocket is a city in Providence County, Rhode Island, United States. The population was 41,186 at the 2010 census, making it the sixth largest city in the state. Woonsocket lies directly south of the Massachusetts state line and constitutes part of both the Providence metropolitan area and the larger Greater Boston Combined Statistical Area.

East Providence, RI

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 47,449
% African American: 6.39%
# Of African American Residents: 3,032
Percent Change Since 2010: 32.0%
More on East Providence: Real Estate | Data | Photos

East Providence is a city in Providence County, Rhode Island, United States. The population was 47,037 at the 2010 census, making it the fifth largest city in the state.

Cranston, RI

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Population: 81,196
% African American: 5.5%
# Of African American Residents: 4,466
Percent Change Since 2010: 42.68%
More on Cranston: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Cranston, once known as Pawtuxet, is a city in the U.S. state of Rhode Island. With a population of 80,529 at the 2010 census, it is the third largest city in the state. The center of population of Rhode Island is located in Cranston. Cranston is a part of the Providence metropolitan area.

Newport, RI

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 24,762
% African American: 5.45%
# Of African American Residents: 1,350
Percent Change Since 2010: -19.16%
More on Newport: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Newport is a seaside city on Aquidneck Island in Newport County, Rhode Island, United States. The City of Newport is located approximately 37 miles southeast of Providence, 21 miles south of Fall River, and 74 miles south of Boston. It is known as a New England summer resort and is famous for its mansions. It is also the home of Salve Regina University and Naval Station Newport, which houses the United States Naval War College, the Naval Undersea Warfare Center, and a major United States Navy training center. It was a major 18th-century port city and also contains a high number of surviving buildings from the colonial era of the United States.

Warwick, RI

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 81,079
% African American: 1.47%
# Of African American Residents: 1,194
Percent Change Since 2010: -10.49%
More on Warwick: Real Estate | Data | Photos

How We Determined The Cities In rhode island With The Largest Black Population For 2020

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 rhode island.

That lead us to the Census’s most recently available data, the 2014-2018 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 19,000 people. That left us with 8 cities.

We then calculated the percent of residents that are Black or African American. The percentages ranked from 16.4% to 1.5%.

Finally, we ranked each city based on the percent of Black population with a higher score being more Black than a lower score. Pawtucket took the distinction of being the most Black, while Warwick was the least African American city. You can download the data here.

Read on for more information on how the cities in rhode island 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.

There You Have It – Black Populations Across Rhode Island

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

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

  1. Warwick
  2. Newport
  3. Cranston

For more Rhode Island reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Most African American Cities In Rhode Island

Rank City % African American Population
1 Pawtucket 16.35% 71,756
2 Providence 13.31% 179,435
3 Central Falls 9.65% 19,382
4 Woonsocket 6.73% 41,539
5 East Providence 6.39% 47,449
6 Cranston 5.5% 81,196
7 Newport 5.45% 24,762
8 Warwick 1.47% 81,079

How Is The Area In ?

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.

One thought on “Rhode Island Cities With The Largest Black Population, 2020

  1. Rhode Island does not have a high black American population. In fact, its immigrant black population consist of West Africans and black Hispanics in urban centers.

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