Blacks Are Moving Back South

Unlike members of the Freedom Riders, shown here at the Uban Issues Forum in Los Angeles earlier this year, many black Americans are moving back to the South./Photo Credit: Dennis J. Freeman

The Great Migration has now reversed course. Black Americans are now flocking back to the South, a place where they battled historic racism and bigotry, the home of the Confederate Flag. That may or may not be a good thing for this country.

The latest U.S. Census Bureau report, based on 2010 data show  black Americans getting out of dodge and heading back to an area that at one time openly discriminated and showered unequal aggressions of hate at them through segregation and Jim Crow laws.   

Making up just 14 percent of the total U. S. population, according to the Census Bureau, black Americans now have a higher concentration in the South than in any place in the country. Fifty-five percent of the total black population now lives in the South, with a whopping 105 Southern counties reporting a 50 percent or higher concentration of black Americans residing within their jurisdictions, according to The Black Population 2010 Census report.  

The number of black Americans who live in the South dwarfs those who live elsewhere. In comparison, 18 percent of black Americans make their home in the Midwest, 17 percent live in the Northeast and just 10 percent occupy the West. There are numerous factors that could be seen as contributing factors to the black population hike in the South.

Better employment opportunities, an affordable housing market, schools and a more stable way of life are likely among the reasons more and more black Americans now call the South home. As staggering as those numbers are, even more mind-blowing is the fact that 60 percent of all black Americans live in just 10 states.

The 10 states with the largest concentration of blacks last year were New York (3.3 million), Florida (3.2 million), Texas (3.2 million), Georgia (3.1 million), California (2.7 million), North Carolina (2.2 million), Illinois (2.0 million), Maryland (1.8 million), Virginia (1.7 million) and Ohio (1.5 million) and Louisiana (1.5 million).

Of cities with the biggest number of black Americans, Detroit leads the way with an astounding number of 84 percent occupancy. Jackson, Mississippi (80 percent), Miami Gardens, Florida and Birmingham, Alabama (74 percent) are right behind the Motor City in the number of blacks living in a city that has a population count of 100,000 or more.

Washington, D.C., which is counted as a state, carries a 52 percent black American occupation rate, despite losing 10 percent of its population in the last 10 years. Outside of living in the South, most black Americans tend to reside in large cities or metropolitan areas. There were 317 counties that reported black Americans comprising 25 to 49 percent living occupancy. Seventeen of those counties are not in the South.

Of these 17 counties counted, 15 were reported to be in metropolitan areas.








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