More African Americans are leaving big cities in the North and Midwest and are heading South, according to a recent analysis of 2000 Census data by the Brookings Institution.

The nation’s black population is in the midst of its “second straight decade of a large scale southward shift,” the report says. What began in the 1970s and ‘80s as smaller streams, the “return to the South” movement of blacks has been a major migration flow since 1990.

The movement includes both young and old (including retirees), as well as professional and blue collar blacks. Metro Atlanta continues to be the nation’s top destination for “new Southern blacks,” followed by Houston, Dallas, Miami, Washington and Charlotte.

Among the top 10 metro areas for white growth, Charlotte ranked 5th. Raleigh-Durham came in at No 7.

Except for Texas and Florida, the South continues to be dominated by black and white populations, the report said, though Latinos are emerging as the fastest-growing minority group.

Read the full report at the Brookings Web site.

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