The 10 States In America With The Largest Black Population For 2023

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

Most Africa American States In America Map

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America is a very diverse place. According to Wikipedia, there are 7 major races in America. But which state has the most african americans as a percent? We know what you’re thinking: some state in the south.

But the question on the top of your mind must be which one exactly? Based on all the articles we’ve written the last 5 years, we put our money on Alabama.

What’s the state with the largest African American population? Well, according to the most recent Census data, Mississippi is the state with the highest percentage of black Americans.

Close but no cigar on our guess.

Here’s the rest of the top 10 states by percentage of African Americans for 2023.

The 10 States With The Largest Percentage Of African American Population In The United States For 2023

  1. Mississippi
  2. Louisiana
  3. Georgia
  4. Maryland
  5. Alabama
  6. South Carolina
  7. Delaware
  8. North Carolina
  9. Virginia
  10. Tennessee

Well the South certainly dominates this list with Virginia being as far north as you’ll get in the top 10. You’ll also find the most African American city in America in Mississippi – Jackson.

We’re going to talk about the states with the biggest black population and list out some famous black americans that were born there. For exactly how we calculated these rankings, read on. Or, if you’re interested in reading something else, check out:

The 10 Blackest States In America For 2023

1. Mississippi

Which state is the blackest in America? Yep, Mississippi. In Mississippi, 37.4% of residents are black, which is 2.27% higher than it was 10 years ago. There are nearly 400 times more blacks in Mississippi than there are in the state of Montana.

Jackson Mississippi ranks 2nd in America for percentage of black residents at 80%. The only other city in America with a higher concentration of black americans is Detroit, where the black population makes up 83% of the total population. There are ten cities in Mississippi greater than 5,000 residents that are at least 70% black.

Oprah Winfrey is from Mississippi. So is James Earl Jones. And, Record producer Ray J hails from McComb, Mississippi.

Population: 2,967,023
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Percent African American: 37.4%
Percent African American 2010: 36.9%
Percent Change: 2.3%
More On Mississippi: Photos | Rent

Mississippi|Ms, MS

2. Louisiana

Moving on, we come to the second blackest state in America, which is Louisiana. In Louisiana, 31.7% of residents are black, which is a 5.57% increase in the last ten years. There are now 80,000 more black Americans living in Louisiana than a decade ago.

Monroe suburb Bastrop and Baton Rouge suburb Baker are both small towns, and have the highest concentration of blacks in Louisiana at 80%. New Orleans is 60% black – the 7th highest black population of large cities in the US. New Orleans is considered the birthplace of jazz music. Jambalaya, gumbo and other southern soul foods have their roots in Louisiana, too.

Actor Tyler Perry, news man Bryant Gumbel and NBA great Karl Malone all have Louisiana roots.

Population: 4,657,305
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Percent African American: 31.7%
Percent African American 2010: 31.6%
Percent Change: 5.6%
More On Louisiana: Photos | Rent

Louisiana|La, LA

Source: Public domain

3. Georgia

Let’s move on to our next blackest state in the US. It’s Georgia. Georgia’s black population is 31.1%, which is almost 1% higher than it was 10 years ago. In terms of actual numbers, there are 3.1 million African Americans in Georgia – second only to the state of Texas, which has 3.8 million black Americans.

Union City, an Atlanta suburb, has the highest black population in Georgia at 86%. Savannah, Georgia is 56% black. Atlanta’s black population continues to move into the suburbs. Ten years ago, Atlanta’s black population was 61%. Now, it’s 54%.

Martin Luther King, Jr. was born in Atlanta. He was an American Baptist minister and activist who became the most visible spokesperson and leader in the civil rights movement from 1954 until his assassination in 1968. As such, Atlanta is home to the National Center for Civil and Human Rights. Other famous people from Georgia are singer Kanye West, actress Raven Symone, and singer Ray Charles.

Population: 10,625,615
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Percent African American: 31.1%
Percent African American 2010: 30.0%
Percent Change: 16.4%
More On Georgia: Photos | Rent

Georgia|Ga, GA

4. Maryland

Where’s our next blackest state in America? That’s Maryland. The main reason Maryland has a large black population is because of Baltimore. Maryland’s total population is 5.2 million. 29.4% of the population in Maryland is black, and 65% of Baltimore’s 620,000 residents are black. A quarter of all black residents in Maryland are in Baltimore.

Other cities in Maryland with a high black population are District Heights and Glenarden. In District Heights, the black population is 86% Nearby Washington DC’s black population is 60%.

Harriet Tubman was born in Dorcester County, Maryland. She was a Civil War Scout, Honorary General, Union Spy, Nurse, and Civil Rights Activist, who helped rescue 70 enslaved people. Civil rights lawyer Thurgood Marshall, NAACP founder W.E.B. Dubois, and rapper Rye Rye are all also notable people born in the state of Maryland.

Population: 6,148,545
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Percent African American: 29.4%
Percent African American 2010: 28.9%
Percent Change: 9.8%
More On Maryland: Photos | Rent

Maryland|Md, MD

5. Alabama

Our next blackest state in America is Alabama. In Alabama, 26.3% – or more than 1 in 4 residents is black – which is twice as high as the national average. That’s a 7.33% increase in the last ten years. Tuskegee, a city with 8,500 residents, is 95% black – the highest number of black residents in one city in the state of Alabama. Birmingham is 71% black – and it has the 4th highest black population in America. Nearby Montgomery is 57% black. It has the 9th highest black population in America..

Perhaps the most memorable historical african american event in Alabama took place in Montgomery, Alabama, when in 1955, Rosa Parks stood up against racial segregation by refusing to move to the back of the bus. That led to a Supreme Court ruling that segregated buses were unconstitutional, which led the inspiration to a chain of events that led to President Lyndon Johnson’s Civil Rights Act in 1964, which outlawed racial segregation.

Olympic gold medalist Carl Lewis, activist Angela Davis, superstar athlete Bo Jackson, and musician Clarence Carter are all from Alabama.

Population: 4,997,675
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Percent African American: 26.3%
Percent African American 2010: 26.0%
Percent Change: 7.3%
More On Alabama: Photos | Rent

Alabama|Al, AL

6. South Carolina

Where is our sixth blackest state in America? South Carolina. In South Carolina, 26.0% of the population is black. That’s a 4.5% from the black population ten years ago, meaning South Carolina is one of only two states on this list to see a decrease in it’s black population as a percentage of the state’s total population.

Marion, South Carolina is the blackest city in the state, at 78%. Columbia, the state’s capital, is 40% black.

Famous black Americans from South Carolina include musician Dizzy Gillespie and Dr. Benjamin Mays, known as the father of the modern Civil Rights Movement

Population: 5,078,903
Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
Percent African American: 26.0%
Percent African American 2010: 28.0%
Percent Change: 4.5%
More On South Carolina: Photos | Rent

South-Carolina|Sc, SC

Source: Public domain

7. Delaware

Which of American states are has the seventh most black Americans? Delaware. In Delaware, 21.5% of residents are black. The black population in Delaware has increased by 16.2% in the last ten years. Delaware has the 5th lowest population overall of all US states.

Wilmington and Dover are the biggest cities in Delaware, and have the largest black populations. Wilmington’s black population is 57% and Dover’s is 40%. About a third of the total number of blacks in Delaware live in these two cities alone.

Delaware State University in Dover is a historically black university, where there is a higher than average number of black middle class residents. Delaware was the first state to join the Union in 1787. It was also considered a border state, but Delaware didn’t abolish slavery for good until the 13th amendment was passed in 1865. Notable black americans from Delaware include NBA players A.J. English and Stevie Graham, and jazz trumpeter Clifford Brown.

Population: 981,892
Rank Last Year: 7 (No Change)
Percent African American: 21.5%
Percent African American 2010: 20.6%
Percent Change: 16.2%
More On Delaware: Photos | Rent

Delaware|De, DE

Source: Public domain

8. North Carolina

We’re going to move on to our next blackest state in America. It is… North Carolina.

In North Carolina, there are just over ten million people. More than two million are black, giving North Carolina a 20.8% black population. Fayetteville, North Carolina has the largest black population in the state. Fayetteville has 200,000 residents, and 42% are black. Other cities with large populations of black Americans in North Carolina are Kinston, Rocky Mount, and Wilson. Kinston’s black population is 65%.

Durham, North Carolina is home to what is now called Black Wall Street. This was a financial center formed by several prominent black entrepreneurs. Booker T Washington spoke many times about how relaxed the race relations were in Durham at the time. Harriet Jacobs, America’s most famous female slave narrator, was born in Edenton, North Carolina. TV personality and writer Star Jones was born in Baden, North Carolina. Singer/rapper Jermaine Dupri grew up in Asheville.

Population: 10,367,022
Rank Last Year: 8 (No Change)
Percent African American: 20.8%
Percent African American 2010: 21.2%
Percent Change: 10.2%
More On North Carolina: Photos | Rent

North-Carolina|Nc, NC

9. Virginia

We’re going to remain in the south as we visit our next blackest state in America, Virginia. Here, the percentage of black Americans is 18.7%. What’s interesting about Virginia is that the black population is decreasing here. Back in 2010, the black population of Virginia was 19.3% , so that means there are 4% less black Americans in Virginia now.

Here in Virginia, Petersburg, Emporia, and Franklin have the largest black populations. Petersburg is 75% black. Virginia Beach is 20% black – and it has the highest number of African Americans in a city in Virginia.

Hampton University is here – it was one of the first black colleges in the US. Brown vs. Board of Education protests first started in Virginia. Those protests led to an end to racial segregation in public schools. Bill “Bojangles” Robinson is from Virginia. He was a dancer best known for his tap dancing with child-star Shirley Temple. Tennis star Arthur Ashe was born here.

Population: 8,582,479
Rank Last Year: 9 (No Change)
Percent African American: 18.7%
Percent African American 2010: 19.3%
Percent Change: 6.0%
More On Virginia: Photos | Rent

Virginia|Va, VA

10. Tennessee

In Tennessee, the percentage of Black residents is 16.3%. For comparison, the whitest state in America, Montana, the black population is .2%. There are also only 2,359 Black americans in the entire state of Montana. In Tennessee, there are 1120548 black americans. That means there are 394 times more african americans in Tennessee than there are in Montana.

Here in Tennessee, the large metro areas such as Memphis make up a large percentage of the black population. In Memphis, more than two thirds of the population is black. That’s the tenth highest ratio of black citizens in America. For comparison, in Detroit, the black population is 82%.

Other cities in Tennessee with a majority of blacks include Bolivar, Brownsville, and Whiteville.

Green Bay Packer Reggie White, disco singer Edmund Sylvers and rapper Young Buck are all from Tennessee.

Population: 6,859,497
Rank Last Year: 10 (No Change)
Percent African American: 16.3%
Percent African American 2010: 16.5%
Percent Change: 8.7%
More On Tennessee: Photos | Rent

Tennessee|Tn, TN

How We Determined The Most African American States in The US

When we analyze what it’s like to live in a certain place, we simply look at statistics. In particular, we can look to the recently released 2017-2021 American Community Survey for a detailed breakdown of race by state.

Specifically, we looked at table B03002 which has the breakdown of people by Hispanic/latino and race.

We looked at the percentage of the population of each state that identified as non-Hispanic/latino, black. We then ranked each city from 1 to 50 in terms of that percentage with the state having the highest overall percentage being named the “State In America with the Largest African American population” — Mississippi. You can download the data here.

The “least African American” state according to the data? That would be Montana which is only 0.39% African American as of the latest data. Wow.

There You Have It — The States With The Largest Black Populations in the US

Based on recent trends, the South might not continue to dominate this list in the years to come — well maybe decades — as Northern states continue to attract large swaths of the black population.

But until then, we’ll keep seeing southern states atop the list.

And we’ll guess that Mississippi is still the blackest state for the next several years.

Here’s a quick look at the least African American states on the list:

  1. Montana
  2. Idaho
  3. Wyoming

For more reading, check out:

African American Population By State In The US For 2023

Rank State % Black
1 Mississippi 37.4%
2 Louisiana 31.7%
3 Georgia 31.1%
4 Maryland 29.4%
5 Alabama 26.3%
6 South Carolina 26.0%
7 Delaware 21.5%
8 North Carolina 20.8%
9 Virginia 18.7%
10 Tennessee 16.3%
11 Arkansas 15.2%
12 Florida 15.1%
13 New York 13.9%
14 Illinois 13.8%
15 Michigan 13.4%
16 New Jersey 12.5%
17 Ohio 12.2%
18 Texas 11.8%
19 Missouri 11.2%
20 Pennsylvania 10.5%
21 Connecticut 10.0%
22 Indiana 9.3%
23 Nevada 8.9%
24 Kentucky 7.9%
25 Oklahoma 7.1%
26 Massachusetts 6.7%
27 Minnesota 6.5%
28 Wisconsin 6.2%
29 Kansas 5.4%
30 Rhode Island 5.4%
31 California 5.4%
32 Nebraska 4.7%
33 Arizona 4.2%
34 Colorado 3.9%
35 Washington 3.7%
36 Iowa 3.7%
37 West Virginia 3.4%
38 Alaska 3.1%
39 North Dakota 3.1%
40 South Dakota 2.1%
41 Hawaii 1.8%
42 New Mexico 1.8%
43 Oregon 1.8%
44 Maine 1.4%
45 New Hampshire 1.4%
46 Vermont 1.2%
47 Utah 1.1%
48 Wyoming 0.8%
49 Idaho 0.6%
50 Montana 0.5%

African American Places By State

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.

3 thoughts on “The 10 States In America With The Largest Black Population For 2023

  1. I have to take issue with your stating Virginia is as far north as you get in the top 10. Maryland and Delaware are both farther north than Virginia. Seems like a glaring error since this has been updated a few times. Also geography might be a good thing for someone in Real Estate to understand.

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