Around 25 million people who have African origin live outside the black continent and today we present you countries with the highest black population outside Africa. In the near future, African population will rise, reaching about 40 percent of world’s population by the end of this century.
The main question here, is – what does it mean to be a black? While one might think that there is a quite straightforward answer to this question, that’s not the case. In America, the term is used to describe someone who has African ancestors but in some other countries it can refer to people who have darker skin and who don’t necessarily have African roots. Moreover, in the Dominican Republic, the country that found its place on this list, terms blacks or black population are rarely used although around 8 million African descendants live here. Finally, blackness isn’t a fixed category anymore based on physical features, but something one can choose to identify with regardless of ancestry. Earlier this year Rachel Dolezal, civil right activist, was called race faker because she identified herself as a black although she has white European origins. She lost her job, faced verbal abuse, and very few had understanding for her actions. She claims to be transracial, saying „If somebody asked me how I identify, I identify as black. Nothing about whiteness describes who I am.” It is possible that Rachel’s act caused so much rage because it was perceived as an attempt to exploit history of black people which is filled with suffering, marginalization and discrimination, all of which persist today.
We created the list of countries with highest black population outside Africa using as a source Institute for Cultural Diplomacy’s data on African diaspora in the world. Some countries on this list can be also found among 11 countries with highest foreign born population. Besides these eleven countries, the majority of the black population is concentrated on the African continent in Nigeria, Ethiopia, and Congo.
11. Trinidad and Tobago
Black population: 1,047,366
In recent years, Trinidad and Tobago has experienced similar racial tensions as the US. The government marks young black males as main culprits for prevalent violence in the country, thus creating an atmosphere in which police officers often abuse power with impunity. Reacting to one of the incidents between police and the black community in which two Afro-Trinidadian teen brothers were shot in the back, minister of national security justified police action by implicating that the state is in the war against its criminal black community.
Black population: 1,126,894
In 2012, Census showed that black people constituted 9.26 percent of total population. Africans came to Cuba during sixteen and seventeen century when the country was a Spanish colony. Today, blacks living in Cuba face different forms of discrimination – from underrepresentation in politics, academia, private sector to high unemployment and poverty.In New York Times article titled “For Blacks in Cuba, the revolution hasn’t begun”, the author explains how until recently hotel managers didn’t want to hire blacks “so as not to offend the supposed sensibilities of their European clientele”.
Black population: 2,015,400
Black and minority ethnic communities have increased in a past decade in the UK and will continue to rise, so by 2050, a third of the UK population will belong to these groups. Although African population is better educated than the white population, 26 percent of the blacks has had at least some college education compared 13 percent of the whites, the community faces greater unemployment and poverty rates. Data shows that half of Black Africans live in low-income households compared to 20 percent of white people.
Black population: 2,641,481-6,999,926
Although there is a general impression that there is no racism in Venezuela, prevalent discrimination of people based on their skin color proves the opposite. Like in other countries from our list, Afro-descendants are underrepresented in power structures. In recent years, Hugo Chavez, the former president who died in 2013, tried to mitigate effects of discrimination. He was the first Venezuelan president who acknowledged his African origins, supported the Law Against Racial Discrimination, addressed the question of discrimination in education… Moreover, on Census in 2011 Venezuelans had the opportunity to identify as blacks for the first time.
Black population: 2,731,419
With almost 3 million residents with African origin, Jamaica is one of three countries on our list in which black population represents the majority. Africans came to the island during Spanish and English government as slaves. The country is the cradle of Rastafarianism, a religion that was born together with resistance to the oppression of whites and that gained worldwide popularity through reggae music, which is often perceived as a voice of the black community.
Black population: around 5,000,000
France, the country that praises itself as colorblind, prohibits collecting data about residents’ race, ethnicity and religion, which is the reason why there are no official records about the exact number of black people living in the country. Blacks living in France have an African or Caribbean origin. The black community in the country has faced decades of discrimination and marginalization, and in last years, it expressed its revolt through series of violent incidents on the streets of Paris.
Black population: 7,985,991
The fifth state on our list of countries with highest black population outside Africa is the Dominican Republic in which around 8 million blacks live. Terms black, black community and black culture are rarely used as the majority of residents insist on its European and Indian roots. The reasons why Dominicans neglect their African heritage can be traced back to the days of colonization when white Europeans were superior and as such desirable object of identification.
Black population: 8,701,439
Black population, which is estimated at around 9 million, account for 95 percent of total population. Haiti is the first country in the Western hemisphere which abolished slavery and which elected black leader. Jean-Jacques Dessalines, who led the revolution of slaves against colonizers, defeated French troops, which allowed Haiti to declare independence on January 1st, in 1804, which is today celebrated as Independence day.
Black population: 9,452,872
In the country, whose recent history has been marked by armed conflicts, Afro and indigenous communities suffered the most. More than third of displaced people in Colombia fled from the Pacific Coast, which is mainly inhabited by these two groups. Although they constitute a large percent of the population, Colombians with African roots have struggled with different forms of discrimination, acute poverty, and violence.
2. United States
Black population: 38,499,304
Currently, around 38 and half million black people live in the US, which account for 12.61 percent of total population. It is estimated that by 2060, black population in the US will reach 74.5 million. Compared to whites, black community earns much less, faces higher unemployment rates and risks of poverty, has lower educational achievements and poorer medical care. Apart from this, police violence against blacks has propelled series of protests across America. In this year, 6.46 blacks per million were killed by police compared to 2.71 whites, and 3.06 latinos.
Black population: 85,783,143
With almost 86 million residents with African origins, Brazil ranks as first on our list of 11 countries with highest black population outside Africa. Like in the US, the black community in Brazil is often subjected to police violence. Moreover, data shows that majority of homicide victims are Afro-Brazilians while Afro teenagers are three times more likely to get killed compared to their white peers.