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2010 Census showcases America's great racial seesaw

According to the 2010 Census, the South is now home to 57 percent of the US black population, the most since 1960. The return migration is linked to jobs and living costs, but also to an attachment to the region.

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The final 2010 Census tally shows a country in rapid flux, including the ongoing and dramatic return of America's black population to the South. The former Confederate states now hold 57 percent of the black population, up from 55 percent 10 years before and 53 percent in 1990 and the highest percentage since 1960.

From city to suburb, from North to South, the story of "black flight" in America is both complex and common sense. It is imbued with racial attitudes and regional affections, and hard-pegged to issues like geographical and cultural affinity, job opportunity, living costs, and hopes for the future.

African-Americans' share of population growth in the South, Census 2010 says, was the highest since 1910, when about 90 percent of blacks lived in the South. Many blacks abandoned long-held strongholds in Detroit, Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York. The dramatic trend adds another wrinkle to the demographic forces that are rapidly shifting regional influence and citizen attitudes, all while pushing the population center of the country south. The South, as a region, saw the fastest overall population growth – 14 percent – since 2000.

IN PICTURES: Race in America


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