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 3.5 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:
- Mississippi (Photos)
- Louisiana (Photos)
- Georgia (Photos)
- Maryland (Photos)
- South Carolina (Photos)
- Alabama (Photos)
- North Carolina (Photos)
- Delaware (Photos)
- Virginia (Photos)
- Tennessee (Photos)
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.
For exactly how we calculated these rankings, read on. Or, if you’re interested in reading something else, check out:
- These Are The 10 Cheapest States In America
- Richest Cities In America
- These Are The 10 Cheapest Cities To Live In America
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 2012-2016 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.
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.
Here’s a look at the top ten states with the largest black population in America.
Percent African American: 37.4%
Percent African American 2010: 36.9%
Percent Change: 3.0%
Mississippi ranks as the state with the highest percentage of African Americans in America.
It tops the lists ahead of every other Southern state by a good 5 percentage points — that’s a big number in this context.
Percent African American: 31.9%
Percent African American 2010: 31.6%
Percent Change: 6.2%
The Pelican State has the second highest largest black population in America.
There are now over 80,000 more African Americans living in Louisiana compared to the start of the decade.
Percent African American: 30.7%
Percent African American 2010: 30.0%
Percent Change: 9.2%
Georgia places 3rd on our list of the most African American states led by Augusta, and not Atlanta, as the blackest city.
Im absolute terms, 3.1mil African Americans live in Georgia, which is second to only Texas — which has double the overall population of Georgia.
Percent African American: 29.2%
Percent African American 2010: 28.9%
Percent Change: 5.7%
Continuing our tour of the South, we take a stop in Maryland, the state with the 4th largest African American population.
Baltimore leads the state in terms of big cities by population that is black.
Percent African American: 27.1%
Percent African American 2010: 28.0%
Percent Change: 3.9%
South Carolina, with 27% of the population identifying as African American, ranks 5th.
It also happens to be one of two states in the top ten that actually had a decrease in the percentage of African Americans this decade (the other being Virginia).
Percent African American: 26.4%
Percent African American 2010: 26.0%
Percent Change: 4.0%
Well, here’s our original guess down at number 6.
Alabama is over a quarter African American according to the most recent data. That’s twice as high as the nation as a whole, so our guess wasn’t totally off base.
Percent African American: 21.2%
Percent African American 2010: 21.2%
Percent Change: 7.3%
There’s a pretty big drop off in terms of percentage of the population that is black from 6 to 7. North Carolina is ‘only’ 21.1% black — a percentage point drop.
North Carolina is the second biggest state in the top ten behind Georgia.
Percent African American: 21.1%
Percent African American 2010: 20.6%
Percent Change: 8.6%
The odd sheep of the bunch, Delaware ranks 8th in terms of African American population.
In contrast to North Carolina, it is by far the smallest state in the top ten.
Percent African American: 18.9%
Percent African American 2010: 19.3%
Percent Change: 3.8%
For some reason we didn’t think Virginia would appear so high on the list.
While it currently ranks 9th, as we mentioned earlier, it’s one of two states with a lower percentage of African Americans than at the start of the decade.
Percent African American: 16.7%
Percent African American 2010: 16.5%
Percent Change: 6.0%
Rounding out the top ten is Tennessee.
The difference in the percentage of the population that is African American from Mississippi to Tennessee is over 20 percentage points.
So even though Tennessee is more African American than the national average, it’s much closer to average than where we started on this list.
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:
For more reading, check out:
Detailed List Of The Most African American States In America For 2018