NEW: Hillsborough’s Black Population Surpasses a Quarter of a Million; County Ranks 4th in Florida for Growth

Hillsborough's black population surge is fueled by migration as more Caribbean- and African-born and college-educated professionals locate there (photo Tampa Bay Caribbean Carnival)

– Gypsy C. Gallardo for Power Broker Media Group

Over the past five years of available Census data, Hillsborough County surpassed a quarter of a million black or African American residents (256,400) and ranked 4th among Florida’s 67 counties for largest net black population growth.

From 2013 to 2018, Hillsborough saw net black population growth of 28,000. Only three Florida counties had more of an influx: Broward, Orange, and Palm Beach counties.

Three-quarters of Hillsborough’s five-year black population growth can be credited to inbound migration of new residents. Over the timeframe reviewed by Power Broker Media, net births (births minus deaths) equals around 7,100.

That means that as many as 21,000 black migrants relocated to Hillsborough over the past five years measured by the Census. An estimated 15% of that stems from foreign-born black individuals and families from Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America and other.

It makes sense that Hillsborough would be a magnet for migration. The county is one of the largest employment hubs for black college-educated professionals in the southeastern U.S., and one of Florida’s biggest hubs for black-owned businesses.

Hillsborough is home to at least two of the nation’s 100 largest African American-owned companies (Coca-Cola Beverages Florida, revenues $1.3 billion, rank 4th and Sun State International Trucks, revenues $148.5 million, rank 28).

It supports a thriving community of arts, culture and entertainment, especially compared to surrounding counties. The Tampa Bay Black Heritage Festival, the Black Business Bus Tour, the annual Kentucky Derby party by founder Keisha Boyd, and mega gatherings such as black Greek national conventions happen there.

Hillsborough also has a larger ecosystem for black entrepreneurs. Unlike Pinellas County (for the sake of comparison), Hillsborough has identifiably black-led institutions such as CDC of Tampa, THAP5508, DSI Black Pages, Tampa Bay Black Business Investment Corporation, the Mainframe, Tampa Organization of Black Affairs, East Tampa Business & Civic Association, and the Tampa Bay Caribbean Carnival.

The recent growth spurt makes Hillsborough one of only six counties in Florida with over 250,000 black residents.

SOURCE: Annual Estimates of the Resident Population (U.S. Census Bureau) 2013 and 2018

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