State DataBlackTotal State
Median household income$45,092$59,206
Bachelor’s degree or higher24.2%29.6%
Family poverty rate15.9%11.3%
Percentage households Married-couple families31.2%50.7%
Homeowner rate40.2%62.0%

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


Capital State Capital in Austin
Texas State Capital in Austin

In 2017 Texas overtook New York as the state with the largest Black population with 3,844,681 making the 3rd largest African American with New York a close second and Florida in third. A large majority of the Texas African American population (about 65%) lives in the Houston and in the Dallas Fort Worth metropolitan areas. Austin, San Antonio, and Beaumont have smaller but still significant Black populations. Most of the remainder of Black Texans live in the smaller cities, towns, and rural areas of East and Southeast Texas. There are also small Black populations in the cities and towns of West Texas and the Texas Panhandle such as Amarillo, Odessa, and El Paso. During the 1990s and 2000s Texas has been one of the top states for African Americans to relocate and most of that growth has been in Dallas and Houston.

Though small at first there has been a Black presence in Texas since the late 1700s when they accompanied Spanish pioneers. The number of African Americans increased when Texas won its independence from Mexico and later joined the United States as a slave state. Between 1840 and 1860 the Black slave population grew from 11,000 to about 182,000 encompassing approximately 30% of the states population and lived mainly in the fertile rural areas of East and Southeast Texas.

The Black population continued to grow after emancipation as many Blacks from other former slave states established “Freedom Towns” throughout the state. Freedom Towns were all Black towns with their own economies much like the other towns of the old west popularized by Hollywood western movies and stories.  The majority of these Black towns were eventually annexed and/or dissolved by growing White populations. A few remnants of these towns still exist such as Independence Heights in Houston and Bear Creek in Irving. Between 1900 and 1940 the Black population of Texas grew from 600,000 to 900,000. As the entire Texas population continued to grow White and Hispanic growth began to outpace that of African Americans and although the Black population grew to more than 2 million in 1990 it was only 12% of the states population. Today the Hispanic population continues to outpace Blacks and Whites in growth.


Get the Complete Texas African American Population Report

The report consists of data tables compiled from the 2017 Census Bureau 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

Texas Population Report (289 data comparisons regarding 33 topics and 26 charts and graphs)
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