These Are The 10 Tennessee Cities With The Largest Black Population For 2019


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

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Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2019. This is our second time ranking the cities in Tennessee 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 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 2019:

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

Memphis took the number one over all spot for the largest Black population in Tennessee for 2019. 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 2019

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 2013-2017 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 63.7% 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. Memphis took the distinction of being the most Black, while Church Hill 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.

Memphis, TN

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 654,723
% African American: 63.66%
# Of African American Residents: 416,771
Percent Change Since 2010: 2.02%
More on Memphis: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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.

Brownsville, TN

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 9,829
% African American: 62.45%
# Of African American Residents: 6,138
Percent Change Since 2010: -11.29%
More on Brownsville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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.

Bolivar, TN

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 5,037
% African American: 58.45%
# Of African American Residents: 2,944
Percent Change Since 2010: -12.62%
More on Bolivar: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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.

Ripley, TN

Overall SnackAbility

2
/10

Population: 8,148
% African American: 50.76%
# Of African American Residents: 4,136
Percent Change Since 2010: -5.18%
More on Ripley: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Covington, TN

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 8,921
% African American: 48.21%
# Of African American Residents: 4,301
Percent Change Since 2010: -16.81%
More on Covington: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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.

Humboldt, TN

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 8,155
% African American: 44.28%
# Of African American Residents: 3,611
Percent Change Since 2010: -13.51%
More on Humboldt: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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.

Jackson, TN

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 66,977
% African American: 44.13%
# Of African American Residents: 29,560
Percent Change Since 2010: 1.17%
More on Jackson: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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.

Chattanooga, TN

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 176,291
% African American: 33.17%
# Of African American Residents: 58,470
Percent Change Since 2010: 3.25%
More on Chattanooga: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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.

Nashville, TN

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 654,187
% African American: 27.66%
# Of African American Residents: 180,916
Percent Change Since 2010: 8.21%
More on Nashville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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.

Millington, TN

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 11,073
% African American: 25.99%
# Of African American Residents: 2,878
Percent Change Since 2010: 5.11%
More on Millington: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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. Church Hill
  2. La Follette
  3. Signal Mountain

For more Tennessee reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Most African American Cities In Tennessee

Rank City % African American Population
1 Memphis 63.66% 654,723
2 Brownsville 62.45% 9,829
3 Bolivar 58.45% 5,037
4 Ripley 50.76% 8,148
5 Covington 48.21% 8,921
6 Humboldt 44.28% 8,155
7 Jackson 44.13% 66,977
8 Chattanooga 33.17% 176,291
9 Nashville 27.66% 654,187
10 Millington 25.99% 11,073
11 Fayetteville 25.29% 6,976
12 Goodlettsville 24.97% 16,935
13 Dyersburg 24.89% 16,666
14 Pulaski 24.13% 7,653
15 La Vergne 23.04% 34,905
16 Clarksville 22.22% 147,771
17 Paris 21.23% 10,059
18 Bartlett 21.23% 58,640
19 Springfield 21.19% 16,692
20 Union City 21.04% 10,479
21 Milan 20.26% 7,715
22 Henderson 19.5% 6,237
23 Martin 19.31% 10,797
24 Columbia 19.05% 36,635
25 Murfreesboro 17.89% 126,188
26 Lewisburg 17.65% 11,457
27 Knoxville 17.29% 184,465
28 Lexington 14.89% 7,731
29 Arlington 14.67% 11,678
30 Smyrna 14.31% 46,885
31 Collierville 13.95% 48,960
32 Munford 13.35% 6,009
33 Gallatin 12.73% 34,495
34 Alcoa 12.64% 9,343
35 East Ridge 12.64% 21,193
36 Shelbyville 12.33% 21,028
37 Mckenzie 12.28% 5,455
38 Lebanon 11.41% 30,212
39 Hartsville/trousdale County 11.39% 8,773
40 Oakland 11.25% 7,508
41 Lakeland 10.82% 12,623
42 Savannah 10.06% 6,977
43 Winchester 9.52% 8,467
44 Cleveland 8.95% 43,496
45 Hendersonville 8.42% 55,635
46 Nolensville 8.27% 7,119
47 Atoka 8.09% 8,994
48 Athens 7.99% 13,559
49 Sweetwater 7.84% 5,842
50 Collegedale 7.69% 10,902
51 Mount Juliet 7.52% 31,397
52 Oak Ridge 6.82% 29,009
53 Johnson City 6.55% 65,598
54 Dayton 6.52% 7,341
55 Millersville 6.36% 6,760
56 Greenbrier 6.32% 6,720
57 Morristown 6.3% 29,446
58 Dickson 6.2% 15,128
59 Red Bank 6.17% 11,744
60 Lawrenceburg 6.06% 10,614
61 Harriman 6.05% 6,153
62 Franklin 5.85% 72,990
63 Greeneville 5.06% 14,895
64 Jefferson City 4.81% 8,220
65 Kingston 4.47% 5,812
66 Loudon 4.35% 5,697
67 Spring Hill 4.32% 35,995
68 Cookeville 4.08% 32,536
69 Elizabethton 3.93% 13,796
70 Newport 3.88% 6,780
71 Manchester 3.6% 10,430
72 Tullahoma 3.57% 19,037
73 Brentwood 3.56% 41,524
74 Bristol 3.53% 26,668
75 Clinton 3.29% 9,961
76 Kingsport 3.28% 52,698
77 Rockwood 3.08% 5,415
78 Crossville 2.4% 11,284
79 Germantown 2.14% 39,230
80 Portland 2.09% 12,258
81 Maryville 1.99% 28,208
82 Lenoir City 1.89% 9,007
83 Fairview 1.85% 8,442
84 Mount Carmel 1.84% 5,386
85 Farragut 1.55% 21,975
86 Mcminnville 1.49% 13,591
87 Soddy-Daisy 0.8% 13,364
88 White House 0.77% 11,107
89 Sevierville 0.68% 16,387
90 Erwin 0.64% 5,921
91 Pigeon Forge 0.5% 6,147
92 Signal Mountain 0.39% 8,507
93 La Follette 0.0% 6,983
94 Church Hill 0.0% 6,686

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.

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