16.4 million people
Stretched in a belt that runs from Virginia down through Texas, these 370 counties are home to large African American populations – they are more than 40% African American. The counties have relatively small Hispanic populations – only about 5%. With a median household income of just $35,561, the African American South is the least wealthy of the 15 county types in the American Communities Project. The presidential vote in these counties can be close because of their divided racial composition, but Barack Obama, the first African American U.S. president, won them by five percentage points in 2012.