Change in percentage of Austin population that is African American


As of 2021, the percentage of Austin population that is African American was 7.57% which was an increase of 0.32% from the prior year reporting of 7.25% (2020). This indicator is representative of the status of changes in the presence of African American residents. A minimal or positive change may implicate the desire or ability of African Americans to move to or remain living in the city. This indicator helps inform our status in reaching our goal to be a city that provides opportunity for all, to be inclusive and diverse, and values our African American population.


The percentage of Austin population that is African American has been marginally decreasing over the reporting period of the last year. It is important to note the large margin of error within the source data, American Communities Survey 1-year estimates.
Note: To see the underlying data for this chart, please select the "View Source Data" link.

Additional Measure Insights

Trends reported in past decennial census years characterized a declining African-American share in population. The decennial census last reported in 2010 gave way to evaluating why the share was steadily decreasing at the time. It has been found that Austin is the only major growth city (a city with over half a million people that saw at least 10 percent growth between 2000 and 2010) that experienced an absolute loss in its African-American population (UT Austin 2014). The Census report a significant decrease from a 11.9% share in 1990, to 9.8% in 2000, and finally to a low of 7.7% reported in 2010.  

The American Communities Survey, administered on a more frequent basis than the decennial Census, has estimated that this trend is no longer continuing.  The driving force behind the overturn in this trend can be traced to how successfully the City has fostered job creation, economic vibrancy, and cultural appeal that attracts people of all demographic groups.  

The critical mass and historical heavy concentration of African American households in east Austin began eroding during the 1980s, and by the mid-1990s, had really begun to break apart.  Over the past 25 years, middle-class African American households have left east Austin for the suburbs and other parts of Austin.  The level of residential segregation for African Americans has dropped significantly as their level of spatial concentration has diminished.  Many community leaders talk today of how many of these families are still returning to churches in east Austin on Sunday morning.  However, many of these same community leaders fear that the newly-suburban African American population will eventually build suburban churches closer to home, leaving the original houses of worship somewhat stranded.  The potential impact of the loss of these churches and their community outreach and community care programs on the African American households left in east Austin could be devastating.

Measure Details and Definition

1) Definition:  This measure answers the question of what is the rate of change for the share of the total city population that is African-American.
2) Calculation method: Calculated the difference of percentage of share over reporting period.
3) Data Collection Process: Data collected from the U.S. Census Bureau, American Communities Survey (ACS) (1-yr), Race (table B02001). American Communities Survey is a survey with sampled statistics on the citywide level and is subject to a margin of error. ACS sample size and data quality measures can be found on the U.S. Census website in the Methodology section.
4) Measure Target Calculation: There is no target for this measure.
5) Frequency Measure is Reported:  Annually (Calendar Year)
Date page was last updated: October 2022