Black Population in Oakland CA drops by 25%
MARCH 11, 2011 09:44 AM
Oakland still conjures up images of the hotbed of Black revolutionary politics thanks to the Black Panther Party during the 1960s and 1970s. And since then, rappers like Too Short and Tupac have promoted the city as a ghetto, West Coast paradise. So anyone today would be surprised to hear that Oakland is no longer a black city.
The Bay Area locale got its color thanks to the Great Migration that brought Black from the South to work in the defense industry after World War I. In the past decade, however, Oakland has been impacted by the “reverse migration” which is leading many Blacks away. According to the U.S. Census, Oakland lost nearly 25% of its Black population, which now makes its Black and White population equal.
In 1980, Blacks accounted for 46% of the city’s population. Today, they compose 27.3 % of population of 390,724. So where are they going? Since the 1980s, Oakland’s cost of living has gone up significantly, which has influenced many to seek affordable alternatives in suburbs like Antioch and out-of-state locales like Atlanta and Houston.
Oakland’s evolution reflects that of greater California. Although Blacks constitute over12% of the nation’s population, they only make up 5.8 percent of California’s population.