Virginia Cities With The Largest Black Population For 2020


We used science and data to determine which cities in Virginia 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 Virginia 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 Virginia is 1,582,421 – at 18.8% of the total population of Virginia.

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

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

  1. Petersburg (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  2. Emporia (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  3. Franklin (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  4. Portsmouth (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  5. Hampton (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  6. Danville (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  7. South Boston (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  8. Richmond (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  9. Martinsville (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  10. Hopewell (Photos | Homes For Sale)

What’s the blackest city in Virginia? Petersburg took the number one over all spot for the largest Black population in Virginia 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 Virginia 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 Virginia or the most diverse places in Virginia.

The 10 Blackest Cities In Virginia For 2020

Petersburg, VA

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 31,827
% African American: 76.93%
# Of African American Residents: 24,486
Percent Change Since 2010: -4.22%
More on Petersburg: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Petersburg is an independent city in the U.S. state of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 32,420. The Bureau of Economic Analysis combines Petersburg with Dinwiddie County for statistical purposes. It is located on the Appomattox River and 21 miles south of the state capital of Richmond. The city’s unique industrial past and its location as a transportation hub combined to create wealth for Virginia and the region.

Emporia, VA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 5,381
% African American: 69.67%
# Of African American Residents: 3,749
Percent Change Since 2010: 2.97%
More on Emporia: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Emporia is an independent city located within the confines of Greensville County, Virginia, United States. It and a predecessor town have been the county seat of Greensville County since 1791. As of the 2010 census, the population was 5,927, making it the second-least populous city in Virginia. The Bureau of Economic Analysis combines the city of Emporia with surrounding Greensville county for statistical purposes.

Franklin, VA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 8,211
% African American: 58.86%
# Of African American Residents: 4,833
Percent Change Since 2010: 0.12%
More on Franklin: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Franklin is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 8,582. The Bureau of Economic Analysis combines the city of Franklin with Southampton County for statistical purposes.

Portsmouth, VA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 95,311
% African American: 52.21%
# Of African American Residents: 49,759
Percent Change Since 2010: -0.91%
More on Portsmouth: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Portsmouth is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 95,535. It is part of the Hampton Roads metropolitan area.

Hampton, VA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 135,583
% African American: 49.34%
# Of African American Residents: 66,901
Percent Change Since 2010: -0.95%
More on Hampton: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Hampton is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia, United States of America. As of the 2010 census, the population was 137,436.

Danville, VA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 41,512
% African American: 48.63%
# Of African American Residents: 20,186
Percent Change Since 2010: -4.03%
More on Danville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Danville is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 43,055. It is bounded by Pittsylvania County, Virginia and Caswell County, North Carolina. It hosts the Danville Braves baseball club of the Appalachian League.

South Boston, VA

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 7,828
% African American: 48.26%
# Of African American Residents: 3,778
Percent Change Since 2010: -3.52%
More on South Boston: Real Estate | Data | Photos

South Boston, formerly Boyd’s Ferry, is a town in Halifax County, Virginia, United States. The population was 8,142 at the 2010 census.

Richmond, VA

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 223,787
% African American: 47.53%
# Of African American Residents: 106,373
Percent Change Since 2010: 3.6%
More on Richmond: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Richmond is the capital of the Commonwealth of Virginia. It is the center of the Richmond Metropolitan Statistical Area and the Greater Richmond Region. It was incorporated in 1742, and has been an independent city since 1871.

Martinsville, VA

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 13,101
% African American: 46.39%
# Of African American Residents: 6,077
Percent Change Since 2010: -2.95%
More on Martinsville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Martinsville is an independent city near the southern border of the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 13,821. It is the county seat of Henry County, although the two are separate jurisdictions. The Bureau of Economic Analysis combines the city of Martinsville with Henry County for statistical purposes.

Hopewell, VA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 22,408
% African American: 41.28%
# Of African American Residents: 9,250
Percent Change Since 2010: 8.35%
More on Hopewell: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Hopewell is an independent city within Prince George County in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 22,591. The Bureau of Economic Analysis combines the city of Hopewell with Prince George County for statistical purposes.

How We Determined The Cities In Virginia 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 Virginia.

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 5,000 people. That left us with 59 cities.

We then calculated the percent of residents that are Black or African American. The percentages ranked from 76.9% to 1.2%.

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

Read on for more information on how the cities in Virginia 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 Virginia

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

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

  1. Poquoson
  2. Vienna
  3. Strasburg

For more Virginia reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Most African American Cities In Virginia

Rank City % African American Population
1 Petersburg 76.93% 31,827
2 Emporia 69.67% 5,381
3 Franklin 58.86% 8,211
4 Portsmouth 52.21% 95,311
5 Hampton 49.34% 135,583
6 Danville 48.63% 41,512
7 South Boston 48.26% 7,828
8 Richmond 47.53% 223,787
9 Martinsville 46.39% 13,101
10 Hopewell 41.28% 22,408
11 Suffolk 41.13% 89,160
12 Norfolk 40.87% 245,592
13 Newport News 39.73% 180,145
14 Chesapeake 29.22% 237,820
15 Lynchburg 28.38% 80,131
16 Roanoke 28.24% 99,621
17 Smithfield 27.5% 8,324
18 Farmville 26.08% 8,076
19 Alexandria 21.33% 156,505
20 Ashland 20.72% 7,655
21 Fredericksburg 20.63% 28,469
22 Charlottesville 18.65% 47,042
23 Virginia Beach 18.49% 450,135
24 Big Stone Gap 18.25% 5,326
25 Culpeper 18.03% 18,113
26 Colonial Heights 14.12% 17,593
27 Williamsburg 14.05% 14,788
28 Manassas 13.25% 41,457
29 Waynesboro 13.1% 21,926
30 Manassas Park 12.91% 16,423
31 Covington 12.72% 5,582
32 Staunton 11.41% 24,452
33 Winchester 9.86% 27,789
34 Radford 9.69% 17,630
35 Marion 9.42% 5,787
36 Wytheville 8.89% 8,000
37 Warrenton 7.83% 9,873
38 Herndon 7.61% 24,520
39 Leesburg 7.24% 52,125
40 Galax 7.19% 6,638
41 Bristol 7.07% 16,843
42 Purcellville 6.98% 9,709
43 Front Royal 6.91% 15,240
44 Harrisonburg 6.61% 53,391
45 Salem 6.56% 25,519
46 Lexington 6.29% 7,110
47 Buena Vista 5.95% 6,399
48 Christiansburg 5.86% 22,049
49 Pulaski 5.7% 8,794
50 Vinton 4.97% 8,074
51 Blacksburg 4.77% 44,245
52 Fairfax 4.61% 23,865
53 Falls Church 4.55% 14,067
54 Bridgewater 4.41% 5,983
55 Abingdon 3.34% 8,020
56 Richlands 3.0% 5,439
57 Strasburg 2.37% 6,585
58 Vienna 2.37% 16,488
59 Poquoson 1.17% 12,039

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.

2 thoughts on “Virginia Cities With The Largest Black Population, 2020

  1. I am a student at VCU studying Virginia. Mini sources say that more black people than white people are arrested for possession of marijuana. In fact black people are three times more likely to be arrested for simple possession of marijuana. I am asking why. Some say it is because there is a higher presence of police officers and predominately black Neighborhoods. I ask myself why. Some say crime rates are higher in the predominately black neighborhoods. I want some statistics that show me that. I would think if you wanted to commit a crime you would go to the rich neighborhoods where they have silver and gold and other nice things to steal. I am doing research that supports legalizing the adult recreational use of Marijuana. I would like to find out that crime is not the highest and predominately black neighborhoods and that it is the same regardless of the Racial makeup of the neighborhood that you live in. What information do you have that could help me find out this information?

  2. “As most scholars and historians agree, an increase in the diversity in America is a good thing.

    We agree.”

    Is that why the scores get higher the lower the percentage? Lol. Would like to get some of what those ‘scholars’ are smoking.

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