Oakland’s Black Population Drops

Since 1980, the city’s Black population has dropped precipitously.

Posted: 03/11/2011 06:16 PM EST

Oakland, California, a city with deep historical ties to the African-American community, has lost almost 25 percent of its Black population in the last 10 years, according to numbers from the Census Bureau.

The city that produced the Black Panthers, congressional leaders such as Rep. Barbara Lee and Ron Dellums, and NBA legend Bill Russell, now has almost as many whites (25.9 percent) as it does Blacks (27.3 percent). Thirty years ago, the city’s Black population stood at 46 percent.

With 106,637 African Americans, the city still trails only Los Angeles for the state’s largest Black population. But these numbers magnify a trend in the state, where most cities have seen a drop.

Blacks across the state have been moving to suburbs for their lower cost of living and lower crime.

"African-Americans are no different than anyone else: They want to live in safe neighborhoods," Oakland Councilman Larry Reid told the San Francisco Chronicle.


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