Charles County now ma­jor­ity black

African Amer­i­cans now rep­re­sent ma­jor­ity pop­u­la­tion in Charles County

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By MICHAEL SYKES II msykes@somd­

As one of the most south­ern parts of the state of Mary­land, Charles County has not al­ways been known for its di­ver­sity. Now, hun­dreds of years later and many eras re­moved from that time, Charles County is a ma­jor­ity African-Amer­i­can com­mu­nity.

For the first time ever, the African Amer­i­can pop­u­la­tion in the county has out­grown all oth­ers. Ac­cord­ing to data ac­quired from the United States Cen­sus Bu­reau, 2015 es­ti­mates for Charles County show the county’s pop­u­la­tion is

44.9 per­cent African Amer­i­can.

That num­ber marks a 1.1 per­cent in­crease in the county’s African Amer­i­can pop­u­la­tion from 2014 to 2015. The county’s His­panic pop­u­la­tion in­creased slightly as well, from 5.3 per­cent in 2014 to 5.5 per­cent in 2015.

Mean­while, the county’s white non-His­panic pop­u­la­tion de­creased from 44.5 per­cent in 2014 to 43.2 per­cent in 2015.

In 2010, ac­cord­ing to data gath­ered from the cen­sus, the white non-His­panic pop­u­la­tion was just above 48 per­cent. African Amer­i­cans were just 41 per­cent of the county.

County Com­mis­sioner Ken Robin­son (D) said it is good to see the county has be­come a place where di­ver­sity con­tin­ues to be­come more and more of a fac­tor. This is some­thing the county and its cit­i­zens wel­come, he said. “This speaks to the grow­ing trend that Charles County is a very di­verse county,” Robin­son said. “We cel­e­brate our di­ver­sity.”

Robin­son said the county “is open to all” who want to come visit and live here. “And that’s ob­vi­ous by the fact that peo­ple who are mov­ing here are not only white,” he said. “This is noth­ing but a pos­i­tive re­flec­tion on Charles County.”

Com­mis­sioner Vice Pres­i­dent Debra Davis (D) said “it’s an ex­cit­ing time” to see the com­mu­nity grow­ing in the di­rec­tion it is with such di­ver­sity.

Along with more di­ver­sity, Davis said, the county’s eco­nomic level re­mains high and pos­i­tive. Ac­cord­ing to data gath­ered by the county’s eco­nomic devel­op­ment depart­ment, the county’s me­dian house­hold in­come was just over $88,000 in 2014. That was one of the high­est marks in the state and more than Mary­land’s me­dian house­hold in­come of $73,971.

With eco­nomic devel­op­ment on the rise and ed­u­ca­tion lev­els con­tin­u­ing to im­prove, more di­ver­sity for the county is a good thing, Davis said. The county con­tin­ues to grow in a man­ner that many peo­ple en­vi­sioned years ago, she said.

“It’s planned growth,” Davis said. “It just shows that there is a plan and growth can be done where com­mu­ni­ties are thriv­ing.”

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