The 10 Rhode Island Cities With The Largest Black Population For 2023

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

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 59,203 - at 5.4% 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 2023:

  1. Pawtucket
  2. Providence
  3. Newport
  4. Woonsocket
  5. East Providence
  6. Cranston
  7. Central Falls
  8. Warwick

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 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 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 2023

1. Pawtucket

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 75,200
% African American: 15.35%
# Of African American Residents: 11,545
Percent Change Since 2010: -0.65%
More on Pawtucket: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Pawtucket, RI

2. Providence

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 188,812
% African American: 13.03%
# Of African American Residents: 24,593
Percent Change Since 2010: 4.96%
More on Providence: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Providence, RI

3. Newport

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 25,322
% African American: 6.6%
# Of African American Residents: 1,671
Percent Change Since 2010: 0.06%
More on Newport: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Newport, RI

4. Woonsocket

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 43,044
% African American: 5.97%
# Of African American Residents: 2,568
Percent Change Since 2010: 65.04%
More on Woonsocket: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Woonsocket, RI

Source: Public domain

5. East Providence

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 47,171
% African American: 5.17%
# Of African American Residents: 2,440
Percent Change Since 2010: 6.23%
More on East Providence: Real Estate | Data | Photos

East Providence, RI

6. Cranston

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 82,654
% African American: 5.09%
# Of African American Residents: 4,210
Percent Change Since 2010: 34.5%
More on Cranston: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Cranston, RI

7. Central Falls

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 22,192
% African American: 4.9%
# Of African American Residents: 1,088
Percent Change Since 2010: -38.57%
More on Central Falls: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Central Falls, RI

8. Warwick

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 82,666
% African American: 2.55%
# Of African American Residents: 2,108
Percent Change Since 2010: 58.02%
More on Warwick: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Warwick, RI

Source: Public domain

Methodology: How We Determined The Cities In Rhode Island 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 Rhode Island.

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*
* 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 22,000 people. That left us with 8 cities.

We then calculated the percent of residents that are Black or African American. The percentages ranked from 15.4% to 2.6%.

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.

Summary: 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. Central Falls
  3. Cranston

For more Rhode Island reading, check out:

African American Population By City In Rhode Island

Rank City % African American Population
1 Pawtucket 15.35% 75,200
2 Providence 13.03% 188,812
3 Newport 6.6% 25,322
4 Woonsocket 5.97% 43,044
5 East Providence 5.17% 47,171
6 Cranston 5.09% 82,654
7 Central Falls 4.9% 22,192
8 Warwick 2.55% 82,666

How Is The Area In ?

Editor's Note: We updated this article for 2023. This is our tenth time ranking the cities in Rhode Island with the largest African American population.
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.