JANUARY 3, 2007 - Posted at 7:30 a.m. CST
MEMPHIS, TN - U.S. Census Bureau data shows greater Memphis is on track to become the first majority black metropolitan area in the nation.
Demographers say if the birth-death ratio holds and the immigration patterns continue, the eight-county metro area will have a population that's more than 50 percent black in a few years.
Census estimates for 2005 show blacks made up 45.1 percent of the area population, while non-Hispanic whites were in a slight majority at 49.4 percent, just under half.
Memphis already ranks #1 in percentage of black population among the nation's large metro areas. The 2000 Census showed the area's black population at 43.2 percent, compared with #2 New Orleans at 37.4 percent.