Black Diversity in Metropolitan America
John R. Logan and Glenn Deane
Lewis Mumford Center for Comparative Urban and Regional Research
University at Albany
August 15, 2003
Early reports from Census 2000 about the growing diversity of the American population have emphasized the large increases in the Hispanic and Asian minorities in many regions of the country. There are also substantial differences within the black population that are worthy of attention.
The number of black Americans with recent roots in sub-Saharan Africa nearly tripled during the 1990’s. The number with origins in the Caribbean increased by over 60 percent. Census 2000 shows that Afro-Caribbeans in the United States number over 1.5 million, larger than some more visible national-origin groups such as Cubans and Koreans. Africans number over 600 thousand. In some major metropolitan regions, these “new” black groups amount to 20% or more of the black population. And nationally nearly 25% of the growth of the black population between 1990 and 2000 was due to people from Africa and the Caribbean.
This report summarizes what is known about the social backgrounds and residential locations of non-Hispanic blacks in metropolitan America. Among blacks, both the Afro-Caribbean population (people from such places as Jamaica and Haiti) and people with recent sub-Saharan African ancestry (from places like Nigeria and Ghana) are distinguished from the longer established African Americans.
More complete information on the size and residential patterns of these non-Hispanic black groups for every metropolis in 1990 and 2000 is available on the Mumford Center web page: