The 10 Virginia Cities With The Largest Black Population For 2021


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 2021. This is our seventh time ranking the cities in Virginia with 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 virginia is 1,588,726 - 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 2021:

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

What's the blackest city in Virginia? Petersburg took the number one over all spot for the largest Black population in virginia for 2021. 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 2021

1. Petersburg

Petersburg, VA

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 31,362
% African American: 76.29%
# Of African American Residents: 23,926
Percent Change Since 2010: -6.41%
More on Petersburg: Real Estate | Data | Photos

2. Emporia

Emporia, VA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 5,442
% African American: 62.84%
# Of African American Residents: 3,420
Percent Change Since 2010: -6.07%
More on Emporia: Real Estate | Data | Photos

3. Franklin

Franklin, VA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 8,147
% African American: 56.68%
# Of African American Residents: 4,618
Percent Change Since 2010: -4.33%
More on Franklin: Real Estate | Data | Photos

4. South Boston

South Boston, VA

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 7,762
% African American: 56.54%
# Of African American Residents: 4,389
Percent Change Since 2010: 12.08%
More on South Boston: Real Estate | Data | Photos

5. Portsmouth

Portsmouth, VA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 95,097
% African American: 52.24%
# Of African American Residents: 49,678
Percent Change Since 2010: -1.07%
More on Portsmouth: Real Estate | Data | Photos

6. Hampton

Hampton, VA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 135,041
% African American: 49.19%
# Of African American Residents: 66,430
Percent Change Since 2010: -1.64%
More on Hampton: Real Estate | Data | Photos

7. Danville

Danville, VA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 41,070
% African American: 48.76%
# Of African American Residents: 20,026
Percent Change Since 2010: -4.79%
More on Danville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

8. Richmond

Richmond, VA

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 226,622
% African American: 46.58%
# Of African American Residents: 105,557
Percent Change Since 2010: 2.8%
More on Richmond: Real Estate | Data | Photos

9. Martinsville

Martinsville, VA

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 12,852
% African American: 44.46%
# Of African American Residents: 5,714
Percent Change Since 2010: -8.75%
More on Martinsville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

10. Hopewell

Hopewell, VA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 22,456
% African American: 42.21%
# Of African American Residents: 9,478
Percent Change Since 2010: 11.02%
More on Hopewell: Real Estate | Data | Photos

How We Determined The Cities In virginia With The Largest Black Population For 2021

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 2015-2019 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 76.3% to 1.1%.

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 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. Richlands
  3. Abingdon

For more Virginia reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Most African American Cities In Virginia

Rank City % African American Population
1 Petersburg 76.29% 31,362
2 Emporia 62.84% 5,442
3 Franklin 56.68% 8,147
4 South Boston 56.54% 7,762
5 Portsmouth 52.24% 95,097
6 Hampton 49.19% 135,041
7 Danville 48.76% 41,070
8 Richmond 46.58% 226,622
9 Martinsville 44.46% 12,852
10 Hopewell 42.21% 22,456
11 Suffolk 41.05% 90,093
12 Norfolk 40.51% 244,601
13 Newport News 39.96% 179,673
14 Chesapeake 29.31% 239,982
15 Smithfield 28.77% 8,367
16 Lynchburg 28.36% 80,569
17 Roanoke 28.06% 99,229
18 Farmville 26.92% 8,117
19 Alexandria 21.15% 157,613
20 Fredericksburg 20.65% 28,622
21 Culpeper 20.06% 18,342
22 Big Stone Gap 19.65% 5,257
23 Charlottesville 18.67% 47,096
24 Ashland 18.57% 7,750
25 Virginia Beach 18.42% 450,201
26 Williamsburg 15.05% 14,927
27 Colonial Heights 14.64% 17,428
28 Waynesboro 13.41% 22,140
29 Manassas 13.21% 41,174
30 Manassas Park 12.78% 16,986
31 Covington 12.49% 5,598
32 Staunton 10.96% 24,432
33 Winchester 10.01% 27,897
34 Radford 9.8% 17,691
35 Front Royal 8.97% 15,077
36 Lexington 8.67% 7,241
37 Marion 8.27% 5,706
38 Leesburg 8.01% 52,994
39 Warrenton 7.98% 9,913
40 Wytheville 7.89% 7,957
41 Buena Vista 7.28% 6,484
42 Herndon 6.88% 24,532
43 Pulaski 6.57% 8,799
44 Salem 6.56% 25,317
45 Harrisonburg 6.48% 53,273
46 Bristol 5.7% 16,912
47 Purcellville 5.62% 9,897
48 Christiansburg 5.55% 22,163
49 Galax 4.97% 6,517
50 Fairfax 4.92% 23,531
51 Vinton 4.85% 8,083
52 Falls Church 4.64% 14,128
53 Blacksburg 4.61% 44,303
54 Bridgewater 4.54% 6,032
55 Strasburg 3.66% 6,609
56 Vienna 2.41% 16,489
57 Abingdon 2.25% 7,960
58 Richlands 1.79% 5,368
59 Poquoson 1.12% 12,090

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.