There seems to be no world map of Black people on the Internet, so I made one. Click on the map above to enlarge.
- dark blue: 75% to 100% Black
- medium blue: 50% to 74% Black
- light blue: 25% to 49% Black
- grey: 0% to 24% Black
Note: If a country or state is grey, it does not mean there are no Black people there. It just means they make up less than a fourth of the people. There are plenty of places like that, like California.
In making such a map, of course, everything turns on what the word “Black” means:
Definition: For this map, I consider someone Black if:
- In a survey or government census, they say they are Black or part Black.
- If their mitochondrial DNA belongs to haplogroup L, the same as Mitochondrial Eve’s. (Everyone else has a history, at least on their mother’s side, of having left Africa over 25,000 years ago.)
If you fit either the social definition (#1) or the genetic one (#2), you are considered Black on the map.
I use this definition because it makes such a map doable while also being roughly in line with what “Black” means in the US, the main way the word is used on this blog.
The definition is hardly perfect. For example, social Black can mean different things in different countries. Just ask Zoe Saldana. And while genetic Black might seem more “objective”, using it alone would exclude 30% of Black Americans while including like 1% of White Americans (maybe more because of passing).
I used #1 where possible, mainly in the Americas and South Africa. I used #2 everywhere else. Northern Africa turns on #2. For countries where I could not find a number that fit either definition, I used a value that made the map look reasonable.
In short: Use the map only to get a rough idea. It is a work in progress, not the gospel truth.
Some remarks on different regions:
- Left blank because I am not sure: Oman and the small islands near Africa.
- Guessed at: Libya, Western Sahara, Mauretania, Chad, Eritrea, Djibouti and Madagascar. They might be a bit off, but I doubt they are far off. I am least sure about Madagascar.
- Counted as Black: Coloureds in South Africa.
- Left blank because I am not sure: Aruba.
- Guessed at: Martinique and St Kitts & Nevis. I made them dark blue since that is what the nearby islands are.
- Counted as Black: Mulattoes, garifunas, zambos, pardos, etc. Note that the Amazon region may be overstated since there pardo can mean a mix of White and Native with no Black.
- Not counted as Black: Those who put down more than one race on the US census. The US census figures generally do not list biracial Blacks separately. The only place where that could make a difference, though, is Washington, DC. It might be medium blue instead of light blue.
Europe on my map is all grey because no single country was more than 25% Black. But Europe is not as lily White as it imagines. The map above shows the percentage of people with provably recent Black ancestry. “Recent” means like in the last 6,000 years.
– Abagond, 2015, 2016.
Sources: The latest figures from the Wikipedia, the CIA Factbook, the US Census (2014), a cool map based on the CIA Factbook, the Wikipedia page on haplogroup L (2015), and a map on Mathilda’s Anthroplogy Blog (2008).
- The map of White people
- Africa: the last 13,000 years
- Race in:
- How Black was Ancient Egypt?
- How Black are Jews? – based on Priya Moorjani’s study. She uses a genetic definition that gives pretty much the same numbers as mine.
- DNA ancestry tests and Black Americans
- mitochondrial DNA
- The term “sub-Saharan Africa”
- The term “black”