New York State

State DataBlackTotal State
Median household income$44,933$64,894
Bachelor’s degree or higher23.9%36.0%
Family poverty rate17.8%10.4%
Percentage households Married-couple families24.5%44.0%
Homeowner rate30.4%53.8%

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2017 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates

At 3,824,642, New York State has the 2nd largest Black population of any state in the nation. The vast majority of African Americans in the state live in New York City and its surrounding counties. In the rest of the state commonly referred to as Upstate New York, African Americans live almost entirely in urban areas and mostly within city limits. These areas are mid-sized mostly manufacturing based cities such as Buffalo, Syracuse, and Rochester. African American concentrations can also be found in smaller cities and towns in or near the Hudson Valley between New York City and Albany such as Poughkeepsie, Newburgh, and Monticello.

During the last few decades Black Americans began experiencing a decline in the quality of living and thousands have opted to move to other parts of the country in search of better opportunities. Although African Americans have been leaving the State in large numbers their population has been replaced by Black immigration from Africa and the Caribbean. Those of direct Sub Saharan African descent total 255,118. Blacks of Caribbean descent number even higher at 809,022.

After the Civil war there were groups of Black migrant farmers who went to work the farms in rural upstate New York. Some stayed and their descendants can be found today in small cities such as Geneva and Newark, NY. But it was during the Great Migrations north that increased New York’s Black population aggressively. African Americans took the trains north from Virginia, Georgia, Florida, and the Carolinas and settling in Black sections of Harlem, Brooklyn, Bronx, Buffalo, and Rochester in search of better opportunities.  New York City now has the largest Black population of any city in the United States with 3.4 Million African Americans living in its city limits.

New York City Metro: 3,455,984

Buffalo: 139,418

Rochester: 124,259

Albany, NY: 68,660

Syracuse, NY: 55,155

Get the Complete New York State African American Population Report

The report consists of data tables compiled from the 2017 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates and compares the state Black population to the state total population all in one 16 page report for $2.99. (purchase below)

This report includes 289 data comparisons regarding 33 topics 26 charts and graphs including:


    • Total number reported
      1 data comparison


    • Sex and age
      19 data comparisons


    • Relationship
      6 data comparisons


    • Households by type
      18 data comparisons


    • Marital status
      18 data comparisons


    • Responsibility for grandchildren
      3 data comparisons


    • School enrollment status
      12 data comparisons


    • Educational attainment
      12 data comparisons


    • Class of workers
      5 data comparisons


    • Commuting to work
      8 data comparisons


    • Employment status
      14 data comparisons


    • Occupation
      18 data comparisons


    • Industry
      14 data comparisons


    • Poverty rates for families and people
      19 data comparisons


    • Income
      30 data comparisons


    • Housing tenure
      5 data comparisons


    • Monthly owner costs as a percentage of household income
      3 data comparisons


    • Owner characteristics
      4 data comparisons


    • Gross rent as a percentage of household income
      3 data comparisons


    • Gross rent
      2 data comparisons


    • Units in structure
      5 data comparisons


    • Year structure built
      7 data comparisons


    • House heating fuel
      5 data comparisons


    • Selected characteristics
      3 data comparisons


    • Residence 1 year ago
      8 data comparisons


    • Place of birth, citizenship status and year of entry
      16 data comparisons


    • World region of birth of foreign born
      7 data comparisons


    • Language spoken at home and ability to speak English
      4 data comparisons


    • Fertility
      4 data comparisons


    • Veteran status
      2 data comparisons


    • Disability status
      8 data comparisons


    • Health insurance coverage
      4 data comparisons


  • Vehicles available
    3 data comparisons

New York State Population Report (289 data comparisons regarding 33 topics and 26 charts and graphs)
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