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


We used science and data to determine which cities in Virginia 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 Virginia is 1,568,053 – at 18.9% 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 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 2018:

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

Petersburg took the number one over all spot for the largest Black population in Virginia for 2018.

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.

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How We Determined The Cities In Virginia 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 Virginia.

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 60 cities.

We then calculated the percent of residents that are Black or African American. The percentages ranked from 76.5% to 0.1%.

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 Richlands was the least African American city.

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.

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1. Petersburg

Petersburg, Virginia

Population: 31,997
% African American: 76.55%
# Of African American Residents: 24,493
Percent Change Since 2010: -4.19%

2. Emporia

Emporia, Virginia

Source: Public domain

Population: 5,565
% African American: 63.95%
# Of African American Residents: 3,559
Percent Change Since 2010: -2.25%

3. Franklin

Franklin, Virginia

Source: Public domain

Population: 8,413
% African American: 58.6%
# Of African American Residents: 4,930
Percent Change Since 2010: 2.13%

4. Portsmouth

Portsmouth, Virginia

Source: Public domain

Population: 96,071
% African American: 52.22%
# Of African American Residents: 50,170
Percent Change Since 2010: -0.09%

5. Hampton

Hampton, Virginia

Source: Public domain

Population: 136,789
% African American: 49.27%
# Of African American Residents: 67,398
Percent Change Since 2010: -0.21%

6. Danville

Danville, Virginia

Source: Public domain

Population: 42,360
% African American: 48.83%
# Of African American Residents: 20,683
Percent Change Since 2010: -1.66%

7. Richmond

Richmond, Virginia

Population: 216,773
% African American: 48.36%
# Of African American Residents: 104,831
Percent Change Since 2010: 2.09%

8. South Boston

South Boston, Virginia

Population: 8,000
% African American: 46.99%
# Of African American Residents: 3,759
Percent Change Since 2010: -4.01%

9. Martinsville

Martinsville, Virginia

Population: 13,551
% African American: 46.45%
# Of African American Residents: 6,295
Percent Change Since 2010: 0.53%

10. Suffolk

Suffolk, Virginia

Population: 87,061
% African American: 41.37%
# Of African American Residents: 36,016
Percent Change Since 2010: 5.23%

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. Richlands
  2. Poquoson
  3. Buena Vista

For more Virginia reading , check out:

Detailed List Of The Most African American Cities In Virginia

City Rank Population % African American
Petersburg 1 31,997 76.55%
Emporia 2 5,565 63.95%
Franklin 3 8,413 58.6%
Portsmouth 4 96,071 52.22%
Hampton 5 136,789 49.27%
Danville 6 42,360 48.83%
Richmond 7 216,773 48.36%
South Boston 8 8,000 46.99%
Martinsville 9 13,551 46.45%
Suffolk 10 87,061 41.37%
Norfolk 11 245,724 41.35%
Newport News 12 181,606 39.41%
Hopewell 13 22,332 38.85%
Chesapeake 14 233,194 29.27%
Smithfield 15 8,304 29.06%
Lynchburg 16 78,755 28.23%
Roanoke 17 99,329 28.1%
Farmville 18 8,562 28.09%
Fredericksburg 19 27,853 21.76%
Alexandria 20 151,473 21.07%
Ashland 21 7,406 19.43%
Big Stone Gap 22 5,462 19.17%
Culpeper 23 17,565 18.84%
Charlottesville 24 45,538 18.64%
Virginia Beach 25 449,733 18.55%
Williamsburg 26 14,988 14.74%
Covington 27 5,650 14.55%
Manassas 28 41,149 13.02%
Colonial Heights 29 17,554 12.97%
Manassas Park 30 15,827 12.63%
Waynesboro 31 21,366 11.95%
Staunton 32 24,234 11.06%
Wytheville 33 8,167 10.22%
Radford 34 17,186 9.92%
Winchester 35 27,349 9.51%
Warrenton 36 9,880 9.26%
Lexington 37 7,036 9.0%
Herndon 38 24,415 8.67%
Bluefield 39 5,254 8.51%
Marion 40 5,891 7.81%
Front Royal 41 15,006 7.54%
Salem 42 25,290 7.44%
Leesburg 43 49,401 7.39%
Galax 44 6,858 6.85%
Bristol 45 17,340 6.69%
Harrisonburg 46 51,979 6.39%
Pulaski 47 8,918 6.28%
Falls Church 48 13,597 5.38%
Vinton 49 8,170 5.23%
Christiansburg 50 21,799 5.13%
Blacksburg 51 43,973 4.78%
Fairfax 52 23,620 4.77%
Bridgewater 53 5,906 4.64%
Strasburg 54 6,525 4.41%
Purcellville 55 8,914 3.49%
Abingdon 56 8,117 3.23%
Vienna 57 16,378 3.07%
Buena Vista 58 6,610 1.66%
Poquoson 59 12,068 1.07%
Richlands 60 5,568 0.09%

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