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


We used science and data to determine which cities in Tennessee 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 Tennessee is 1,092,491 – at 16.7% of the total population of Tennessee.

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

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

  1. Brownsville (Photos)
  2. Memphis (Photos)
  3. Bolivar (Photos)
  4. Ripley (Photos)
  5. Covington (Photos)
  6. Jackson (Photos)
  7. Humboldt (Photos)
  8. Chattanooga (Photos)
  9. Nashville (Photos)
  10. Millington (Photos)

Brownsville took the number one over all spot for the largest Black population in Tennessee 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 Tennessee 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 Tennessee or the most diverse places in Tennessee.

How We Determined The Cities In Tennessee 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 Tennessee.

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 94 cities.

We then calculated the percent of residents that are Black or African American. The percentages ranked from 64.4% to 0.3%.

Finally, we ranked each city based on the percent of Black population with a higher score being more Black than a lower score. Brownsville took the distinction of being the most Black, while La Follette was the least African American city.

Read on for more information on how the cities in Tennessee 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. Brownsville

Brownsville, Tennessee

Population: 9,938
% African American: 64.4%
# Of African American Residents: 6,400
Percent Change Since 2010: -7.5%
More on Brownsville: Data | Jobs

Brownsville is a city in Haywood County, Tennessee. It is the county seat of Haywood County, which is in the broad delta floodplain near the Mississippi River. Its population as of the 2010 census is 10,292.

2. Memphis

Memphis, Tennessee

Population: 655,857
% African American: 63.4%
# Of African American Residents: 415,835
Percent Change Since 2010: 1.79%
More on Memphis: Data | Jobs

Memphis is a city in the southwestern corner of the U.S. state of Tennessee and the county seat of Shelby County. The city is located on the fourth Chickasaw Bluff, south of the confluence of the Wolf and Mississippi rivers.

3. Bolivar

Bolivar, Tennessee

Population: 5,154
% African American: 59.08%
# Of African American Residents: 3,045
Percent Change Since 2010: -9.62%
More on Bolivar: Data | Jobs

Bolivar is a city in Hardeman County, Tennessee, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 5,417. It is the county seat of Hardeman County. The town was named for South American revolutionary leader Simn Bolvar.

4. Ripley

Ripley, Tennessee

Population: 8,249
% African American: 54.18%
# Of African American Residents: 4,469
Percent Change Since 2010: 2.45%
More on Ripley: Data | Jobs

5. Covington

Covington, Tennessee

Population: 9,016
% African American: 49.43%
# Of African American Residents: 4,457
Percent Change Since 2010: -13.79%
More on Covington: Data | Jobs

Covington is a city in central Tipton County, Tennessee, United States. Covington is the largest city and county seat of Tipton County. The city is located in West Tennessee, 12mi east of the Mississippi River. The city’s population was 9,038 at the time of the 2010 U.S. Census. Located 42mi northeast of Memphis, Covington is part of the Memphis, Tennessee Metropolitan Area.

6. Jackson

Jackson, Tennessee

Population: 67,162
% African American: 44.88%
# Of African American Residents: 30,145
Percent Change Since 2010: 3.17%
More on Jackson: Data | Jobs

Jackson is the county seat of Madison County, Tennessee. Located 70 miles east of Memphis, it is a regional center of trade for West Tennessee. Its total population was 65,211 at the 2010 census and 67,265 in the 2012 Census estimate.

7. Humboldt

Humboldt, Tennessee

Source: Public domain

Population: 8,254
% African American: 43.48%
# Of African American Residents: 3,589
Percent Change Since 2010: -14.04%
More on Humboldt: Data | Jobs

Humboldt is a city in Gibson and Madison counties, Tennessee. The population was 8,452 at the 2010 census, a decline of 1,015 from 2000. It is the principal city of and is included in the Humboldt, Tennessee Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is included in the Jackson, Tennessee-Humboldt, Tennessee Combined Statistical Area. It is Gibson County’s largest city and Madison County’s second largest city after Jackson.

8. Chattanooga

Chattanooga, Tennessee

Population: 175,462
% African American: 33.45%
# Of African American Residents: 58,696
Percent Change Since 2010: 3.65%
More on Chattanooga: Data | Jobs

Chattanooga is a city in the U.S. state of Tennessee, with a population of 176,588 in 2015. The fourth-largest Tennessee city, it is the seat of Hamilton County. Located in southeastern Tennessee in East Tennessee, on the Tennessee River, served by multiple railroads and Interstate highways, Chattanooga is a transit hub. Chattanooga lies 120 miles northwest of Atlanta, Georgia, 120 miles southwest of Knoxville, Tennessee, 135 miles southeast of Nashville, Tennessee, 120 miles northeast of Huntsville, Alabama, and 148 miles northeast of Birmingham, Alabama.

9. Nashville

Nashville, Tennessee

Source: Public domain

Population: 643,771
% African American: 27.9%
# Of African American Residents: 179,631
Percent Change Since 2010: 7.44%
More on Nashville: Data | Jobs

Nashville is the capital and most populous city of the U.S. state of Tennessee and the seat of Davidson County. It is located on the Cumberland River in the north central part of the state. The city is a center for the music, healthcare, publishing, private prison, banking and transportation industries, and is home to numerous colleges and universities.

10. Millington

Millington, Tennessee

Population: 11,069
% African American: 25.99%
# Of African American Residents: 2,877
Percent Change Since 2010: 5.08%
More on Millington: Data | Jobs

Millington is a city in Shelby County, Tennessee, United States. As of the 2010 census, it had a population of 10,176. Millington is the home of the Memphis International Raceway. It was granted the title “Flag City Tennessee” by the Tennessee State Legislature. The Naval Support Activity Mid-South is located at the former Memphis Naval Air Station, which was changed functions from a training base to an administrative one in 1993. There is also a general aviation airport that features the third longest runway in Tennessee.

There You Have It – Black Populations Across Tennessee

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

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

  1. La Follette
  2. Pigeon Forge
  3. Signal Mountain

For more Tennessee reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Most African American Cities In Tennessee

Rank City Population % African American
1 Brownsville 9,938 64.4%
2 Memphis 655,857 63.4%
3 Bolivar 5,154 59.08%
4 Ripley 8,249 54.18%
5 Covington 9,016 49.43%
6 Jackson 67,162 44.88%
7 Humboldt 8,254 43.48%
8 Chattanooga 175,462 33.45%
9 Nashville 643,771 27.9%
10 Millington 11,069 25.99%
11 Dyersburg 16,867 24.74%
12 Pulaski 7,728 24.72%
13 Goodlettsville 16,848 24.42%
14 Clarksville 146,281 22.12%
15 La Vergne 34,451 21.84%
16 Union City 10,621 21.14%
17 Springfield 16,650 20.98%
18 Bartlett 58,318 20.24%
19 Paris 10,168 19.71%
20 Martin 10,989 19.39%
21 Milan 7,803 19.3%
22 Columbia 36,130 18.18%
23 Fayetteville 7,033 18.11%
24 Knoxville 183,927 17.72%
25 Henderson 6,491 17.7%
26 Lewisburg 11,376 17.03%
27 Murfreesboro 122,007 16.82%
28 Arlington 11,599 14.92%
29 Alcoa 9,058 14.87%
30 Gallatin 33,426 14.43%
31 Lexington 7,796 13.87%
32 Shelbyville 20,916 13.68%
33 Smyrna 45,369 13.06%
34 Collierville 48,005 12.86%
35 Mckenzie 5,650 12.27%
36 Hartsville/Trousdale County 7,970 11.76%
37 Lebanon 29,439 11.59%
38 East Ridge 21,311 11.54%
39 Oakland 7,270 11.31%
40 Savannah 7,043 9.98%
41 Munford 6,025 9.46%
42 Lakeland 12,541 9.02%
43 Collegedale 10,438 8.8%
44 Cleveland 43,276 8.7%
45 Nolensville 6,724 8.46%
46 Mount Juliet 29,853 7.86%
47 Athens 13,651 7.71%
48 Atoka 8,917 7.58%
49 Oak Ridge 29,285 7.55%
50 Hendersonville 55,073 7.41%
51 Jefferson City 8,324 7.4%
52 Dickson 15,098 6.89%
53 Harriman 6,223 6.86%
54 Johnson City 65,415 6.84%
55 Winchester 8,504 6.79%
56 Dayton 7,308 6.58%
57 Millersville 6,602 6.53%
58 Morristown 29,395 6.42%
59 Greenbrier 6,684 6.18%
60 Franklin 70,625 5.96%
61 Red Bank 11,794 5.94%
62 Lawrenceburg 10,573 5.86%
63 Greeneville 15,035 5.32%
64 Sweetwater 5,877 5.29%
65 Spring Hill 34,364 5.09%
66 Cookeville 32,256 4.5%
67 Rockwood 5,443 4.26%
68 Germantown 39,213 4.09%
69 Loudon 5,701 4.05%
70 Elizabethton 14,012 3.8%
71 Bristol 26,734 3.66%
72 Kingston 5,841 3.56%
73 Clinton 9,993 3.48%
74 Tullahoma 19,185 3.41%
75 Manchester 10,387 3.26%
76 Newport 6,856 3.17%
77 Kingsport 52,871 3.05%
78 Brentwood 40,873 2.94%
79 Maryville 28,151 2.73%
80 Crossville 11,308 1.7%
81 Portland 12,125 1.69%
82 Lenoir City 8,965 1.62%
83 Farragut 21,690 1.61%
84 Mount Carmel 5,425 1.49%
85 Mcminnville 13,664 1.45%
86 Fairview 8,271 1.27%
87 Sevierville 16,213 0.91%
88 Erwin 5,998 0.83%
89 White House 10,944 0.76%
90 Soddy-Daisy 13,162 0.54%
91 Church Hill 6,723 0.54%
92 Signal Mountain 8,500 0.46%
93 Pigeon Forge 6,092 0.31%
94 La Follette 7,131 0.25%

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