African-American Population of Delaware: 1800-1980

Ames, David L.
Callahan, Mary Helen
Chase, Susan M.
Siders (Sheppard), Rebecca J.
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Delaware's population growth occured in roughly three phases: from 1800 to 1840, from 1840 to approximately 1940, and from 1940 to 1980(Figure 1). In 1800, Delaware's population was 64,273. African-Americans numbered 14,421 (22% of the state's total); 6,153 or 43% were slaves. Over the next 140 years, the African-American population of the state grew modestly, increasing an average of 6% each decade until 1940 (Table 1 and Figure 2). Growing at a slower rate (4% per decade), the white population increased to 58,564 people by 1840. By 1840 the African-American proportion of the states' population had risen slightly to 25%. From 1840 to 1940, however, the white population, fueled primarily by growth in Wilmington, grew at a faster rate than did African-American population--15% per decade on the average (Figure 3). In 1940 the 19,251 African-Americans living in Delaware constituted 14% of the states's total population.
African American , Delaware population growth