Dimensions of Alabama’s Black Population

Dimensions of Alabama’s Black Population

  • August 6th, 2019

Dimensions of Alabama’s Black Population


Most (55 percent) African Americans live in the South. Seventeen percent live in the Northeast, 20 percent in the Midwest, and 8 percent in the West.

In the United States there are about 33 million African Americans–about 13 percent of the total U.S. population. However, in Alabama, African Americans make up about 25 percent of the total population.

The black population is not evenly distributed throughout the state. There are 10 counties in Alabama where blacks are a majority of the population. They are, in rank order:

County                            Percent Black Population
Macon County                                86.2
Greene County                               80.6
Lowndes County                              74.9
Bullock County                              72.7
Sumter County                               70.7
Wilcox County                               69.2
Perry County                                64.8
Hale County                                 59.7
Dallas County                               58.3
Marengo County                              51.1

Source: 1990 Census of Population and Alabama State Data Center, special tabulation.

Alabama’s black population is growing faster than the white population. Alabama’s black residents are more concentrated in younger age groups, while at the same time the white population has more concentration than the black population in ages over 45. In the coming decades a larger percentage of black women than white women will be of child bearing age.

In 1990 white women in Alabama averaged 1.8 children in their lifetime, while nonwhite women averaged 2.45. These fertility rates are expected to continue into the next century, and in this respect Alabama is following a national trend.


Alabama ranks ninth in the nation in percentage of black-owned businesses. In Alabama, the number of black-owned businesses increased from 10,085 in 1987 to 14,707 in 1992, or a 46 percent growth rate.

During the same time period, sales and receipts of black firms in the state went from $439,966,000 in 1987 to $535,000,000 in 1992.


There are more black women at work in Alabama than black men. Of employed black Alabamians, 53 percent are women and 47 percent are men.

Nationally, there are more black women than black men in the executive, administrative, managerial, and professional specialty occupations. The same trend holds true in Alabama. Seventeen percent of employed black women in our state hold executive, managerial, or professional positions, whereas 10 percent of black Alabama men work in these occupations.

Alabama                                  Total        Women       Men
Employed black persons                    100%         100%      100%
Managerial, executvie, adminis             14%          17%       10%
Technical, sales, and adminis support      22%          30%       13%
Service                                    23%          29%       16%
Farming                                     2%           1%        4%
Precision production, craft, repair         9%           3%       16%
Operators, fabricators, laborers           30%          20%       41%

Source: 1990 Census of Population and Alabama State Data Center, special tabulation.