2020 census: Jacksonville sees large increase in African American population

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – More African Americans are moving to Jacksonville from larger cities, according to an Associated Press report on the 2020 census.

According to the AP, between 2010 and 2020, Fort Worth, Texas; Columbus, Ohio; Jacksonville, Florida; and Charlotte, North Carolina, were the cities with the largest population gains in African Americans.

RELATED: US Black population: The biggest growth is in smaller cities

The report states: Figures from the 2020 census show each city gaining between 32,000 and 40,000 Black residents. It adds, “African Americans have been migrating to Atlanta and other big cities in the South for decades.”

As written by the AP, from the 1910s to the 1960s, millions of Black Americans took part in the Great Migration, moving to northern cities to escape the overt racism of the Jim Crow South. But many learned over time that racism was also pervasive in northern cities, in less-obvious but equally insidious forms such as home loan restrictions that reinforced segregated neighborhoods. Now, in a trend known as “reverse migration,” some of the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of those original migrants have been moving back to Southern cities for years.

Locally, it could also impact politics as many African Americans vote along Democrat party lines.

To add some political context, the Duval County Supervisor of Elections shows 264,000 registered Democrats, or 40%; 229,000 registered Republicans, or 35%; and 145,000 people with no party affiliation, or 22%.

Local activist Ben Frazier, who focuses on community relations, says he’s not surprised to learn that more African Americans moving down south, but that doesn’t mean they will vote Democrat.

“I think that you need to look at NPA as it relates to African Americans with the understanding that many of the young Black voters today are disgusted and dismayed with Republicans and Democrats,” Frazier said.

Frazier says it’s because party leaders are not following through on their promises and now voters are looking at issues and not just party affiliation.

As the demographics of Duval County change, people can easily be attracted to a place like Jacksonville for a lower cost of living, better weather and quality of life.

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