Wednesday, February 16, 2011

African-Americans Gain Population in New Census; How Will Future Voting Patterns Be Impacted?

WTLC Radio Host and Census Director Amos Brown has released an interesting report on the gains in the African-American population in Indianapolis and Indiana:

African-Americans fueled Indiana and Indianapolis’ growth during the first decade of the 21st Century and experienced major changes for the city and metro’s oldest and largest minority community, according to an analysis of 2010 Census data by WTLC-AM Radio in Indianapolis. The first of a series of analyses on the 2010 Census and African-Americans in Indianapolis to be released this year.

Indiana’s African-American population climbed to a record 654,415; a gain of 20.7% or 112,369. Fully 27.9% of Indiana’s total population growth of 403,317 during the decade came from African-Americans.

In Indianapolis/Marion County, another record was set as the Black population rose to 256,418; a gain of 19.1% or 41,164. A gain that alone would’ve been responsible for all the city/county’s population growth.

Total Indianapolis population climbed 5.0% to a record 903,393.

Fueled by a 19,283 gain in Blacks living in the suburban counties surrounding Indianapolis, African-American population in the ten country Indianapolis metro area climbed to a breathtaking 283,549; a 27.1% gain.

According to WTLC-AM’s Amos Brown, long time chronicler of the demographics of the area’s African-American community, and Co-Chair of Indianapolis’ 2010 Census Complete Count Committee, Black population growth in Indianapolis’ metro grew faster than Black growth statewide.

Said Brown, “Indianapolis/Marion County’s Black population gain was paced by increases, some huge, in every township but Center”.

Center Township’s Black population fell 20.0%, or 13,909 to 55,692; the lowest since 1950. Warren Township had the highest Black decade growth at 13,478, followed by Pike (12,346), Lawrence (10,418) and Wayne (10,293).

In Indianapolis/Marion County, African-Americans now comprise 28.4% of the population; Hispanics 9.3%. Non-Hispanic whites comprise just 59.5% of the city/county; down from 68.9% in 2000.

According to the Census, the city/county’s non-Hispanic white population declined by 54,636; or 9.2%. Falling in every township except the three southern ones.

Pike Township now has the highest percentage of African-Americans at 46.8%, followed by Center (39.0%), Lawrence (37.2%), Warren (35.0%) and Washington (28.6%) and Wayne (27.3%).

According to Brown’s analysis, the city/county’s three southern townships had the highest Black growth in percentage terms; Franklin (up 758.9%), Decatur (up 465.5%) and Perry (up 192.1%). Forty years ago there were virtually no African-Americans living in the three southern townships of Decatur, Perry and Franklin. Today 4% of our community, some 10,360 do.

Forty years ago, Indianapolis’ Black population was solidly concentrated in Center Township. No more, as only 21.7% of the city’s Blacks live in Center Township. Twice as many African-Americans live north of 38th Street. Some 17.2% of Blacks in the city/county live in Lawrence Township, 14.7% in Washington, 14.6% in Wayne, 14.2% in Pike, 13.6% in Warren.

Brown says that Blacks are literally spread all over Marion County and also spread into suburban townships hugging Marion County’s northern, western, southern and eastern borders.

Huge gains were recorded by African-Americans in the suburban counties.

Hamilton County has the largest Black population in the suburbs at 11,401; followed by Hendricks County at 8,091; then Johnson County at 2,365 and Hancock County at 1,758.

There were also large increases in Black population in suburban towns and cities. Fishers has the largest Black population at 4,958; followed by Carmel at 2,767 and Noblesville 2,300.

The 2010 Census is the first to report population data by school district boundaries. The WTLC analysis of African-American population finds the largest Black suburban population is the Hamilton Southeastern school district (5,893), followed by Avon (3,527), Carmel-Clay (2,921) and Brownsburg (2,773).

Total population and Black population within the Indianapolis Public School (IPS) boundaries fell, according to the 2010 Census. Black population dropped 11.9% or 16,640 to 122,629 the lowest since 1960. Total population within IPS dropped 9.8% or 32,232 to 296,715, the lowest since 1910.

A majority of the Indianapolis African-American population (52.8%) now lives outside the IPS area; an historic first!

The 2010 Census reports just 47.8% of our Black community lives in the IPS area. Within IPS, (the old pre-Uni-Gov area) total population fell to the lowest level since 1910, to 296,715; down 9.8%.

Meanwhile, both the population and the percentage of African-Americans living within township school districts have jumped.

Blacks comprise just 41.3% of IPS. But the percentage is higher in Pike at 46.3%. Blacks are 32.1% of the Warren district; 27.7% of Washington’s district; 27.0% of Lawrence and 21.3% in Wayne.
I was most interested in the Pike Township results. Pike is my home township and according to a story in the Indianapolis Star a year or so ago it is the third wealthiest township in Marion County. Pike is home to a large number of middle class and upper middle class African-Americans. The census shows that Pike now has the largest African-American population percentage wise of any township, coming in at 46.8%. According to information supplied by Amos Brown, the non-Hispanic white population in Pike is down to 36.8% with Hispanic making up most of the balance. (This gets a little confusing as the Hispanic designation is actually an ethnicity and not a racial classification.)

Pike Township is also an example of how difficult these racial/ethnic classifications may be in the future. I read awhile back (I can't remember where) that Pike is home to more mixed marriages than any place else in the country. It will be interesting to see how the offspring of those relationship get classified in the future.

The Census figures reveal other interesting results. The lilly white townships of Perry, Franklin and Decatur are finally becoming integrated. Center Township though appears to losing its once dominant black population, most likely in favor of young, upwardly mobile whites. Assuming that voting trends continue to follow racial/ethnic patterns, one has to wonder if in 20 or 30 years we'll be looking at Republicans regularly elected out of Center Township.

The suburban figures show that the integration of the suburban Marion County Townships has now spread out to the doughnut counties. Could it be that the end of the Republican domination of Hamilton County is only a few decades away?

1 comment:

Pete Boggs said...

African-American isn't synonymous with the Democrat Party; nor would it seem so if Republicans were principled.

And, thank God for more Americans, living in Indiana!