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Census 2000 Shows Large Black Return to the South, Reinforcing the Region's "White-Black" Demographic Profile

Publication Abstract

PDF Frey, William H. 2001. "Census 2000 Shows Large Black Return to the South, Reinforcing the Region's "White-Black" Demographic Profile." PSC Research Report No. 01-473. 5 2001.

Coming full circle, the 2000 census shows that blacks ended the 20th Century by returning to the region that they spent most of the century leaving. As such, the South retains it historically distinct racial profile as a mostly white-black region, but in a booming new economy and in a much-improved racial climate. This report, which uses census and Current Population Survey data, documents the following. The South's black population increased by 3,575,211 in the 1990s-which is about twice the number of blacks that the South gained in the 1980s (1.7 million), and well above the gain for the 1970s (1.9 million). The 1990s is the first decade in which each of the other major regions - the Northeast, Midwest and West - registered a net out-migration of blacks, completing the century's reversal. The Southeast is especially attractive for blacks. Florida and Georgia lead all states in black gains, and of the metro areas with large black populations, Orlando and Atlanta show the highest rates of growth. Black in-migrants to the South are most likely to reside in the suburbs or metro areas. Seven of the 10 fastest growing counties for blacks are in the suburbs of metropolitan Atlanta. Within the South, Texas and Florida attract the most Hispanic gains. In the remaining 15 southern states, blacks comprise 22.8% of the population, compared to 3.5% for Hispanics. The South leads the nation in the percent of blacks who selected "one race only" in the 2000 Census. Less than 2% of blacks identified with more than one race in 9 southern states.

Dataset(s): U.S. Censuses, 1960 - 2000. U.S. Census, Current Population Survey data for years 1990 through 2000.

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