Blacks Losing Count and Clout in DC
(Washington Post) — The number of African Americans residing in the District plummeted by more than 11 percent during the past decade, with blacks on the verge of losing their majority status in the city for the first time in half a century. According to census statistics released Thursday, barely 50 percent of the District’s population was African American in 2010 — a remarkable shift in a place once nicknamed “Chocolate City.” The black population dropped by more than 39,000 over the decade, down to 301,000 of the city’s 601,700 residents. At the same time, the non-Hispanic white population skyrocketed by more than 50,000 to 209,000 residents, almost a third higher than a decade earlier. The census statistics showed a steeper change for both blacks and whites than had been estimated. With the city ‘s black population dropping by about 1 percent a year, African Americans might already be below the 50 percent mark in the city. In a city that prides itself on being a hub of black culture and politics, a majority of residents have been black since whites began moving to the suburbs en masse at the end of World War II. By 1970, seven out of 10 Washingtonians were black.