African American Population

African American Population

Census data show the changing distribution of the African American population from 1860-2010.


6 - 12+


Geography, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Human Geography, Physical Geography, Social Studies, U.S. History

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Changes in the distribution of the African-American population are documented in U.S. Census data, and displayed in the maps in this gallery.

African Americans moved out of the South in two "waves"—the First Great Migration, following the Civil War, and the Second Great Migration, following the Great Depression. About 40 years ago, African Americans began reversing this pattern and moving to the South, instead of away from it. This is the so-called "New Great Migration."

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National Geographic Magazine
Last Updated

February 7, 2024

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