Regional Distribution of the Black Population

More than half (55%) of the African American population lives in the South. Although the Black Population has increased in all US regions since 1990, the South has had the most growth. 

NOTE: Alaska and Hawaii are located in the West Region

In 1910, 89%  of all African Americans still lived in the South, and 80% of them in rural areas. In the years that followed world cotton prices plummeted, large farming areas became infested with boll weevil, and severe floods consumed the Mississippi Valley. World war I brought a major labor shortage to the industrial North’s urban areas. The First Great Migration brought some some 1.5 million African Americans north and west between 1916 and 1930  By 1960, 40% of all blacks lived outside the South, while 75% of all blacks lived in cities. The second Great Black Migration occurred between 1940 and 1970. This brought 5 million Black Southerners North and West. By 1970, 47 percent of the nation’s African Americans lived outside the South, and more than 80 percent were in urban areas.