A Portrait of Black America on the Eve of the 2010 Census

What the most recent U.S. Census report tells us now.

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There are 40 million black Americans on the eve of the 2010 Census. We are 12.3 percent of the U.S. population down from 14.8 percent of the population in 2000. African Americans became the nation’s second-largest minority group in the first decade of the 21st century.

WHERE WE LIVE

More than half of black Americans live in the South.

New York had the largest black population of any state as of July 1, 2008 (3.5 million); Georgia had the largest numeric increase since July 1, 2007 (67,000). The District of Columbia had the highest percentage of blacks (56 percent), followed by Mississippi (38 percent).

Cook County, Ill. (Chicago’s county) had the largest black population of any county (1.4 million), and Orleans Parish, La. (New Orleans’ county) had the largest numeric increase since July 1, 2007 (16,000). Claiborne County, Miss.—on the Louisiana border—had the highest percentage of blacks in the nation (84 percent).