Historic African American Enrollment at UNC

African American students were prohibited from enrolling at the University of North Carolina until 1951, when a court decision forced the university to begin admitting African American students to the graduate schools. African American students joined the undergraduate population in 1955.

The number of African American students enrolled at UNC has increased steadily since the 1950s. In Wilson Library, we frequently receive requests asking for statistical data on the historic enrollment of African American students at UNC. The table below represents our best efforts to determine enrollment numbers and statistics. With changes in campus administration and frequent reorganization, there was not a single place we could look to easily find all enrollment numbers from the past 65 years. For some years, we have not been able to find any statistics on African American enrollment, but we are still looking and will update this table whenever we have additional information. These statistics are also available in an Excel spreadsheet that includes numbers by student type (undergraduate / graduate / professional) and full citations for each year’s figures.

Year African American Students Enrolled Total Enrollment Percentage of African American Enrollment
1951-1952 6 5,773 .10%
1952-1953 2 5,474 .04%
1953-1954 3 5,676 .05%
1954-1955 14 6,061 .20%
1955-1956 10 6,575 .20%
1956-1957 11 6,971 .20%
1957-1958 15 7,038 .20%
1958-1959 26 7,513 .30%
1959-1960 %
1960-1961 %
1961-1962 %
1962-1963 9,604 %
1963-1964 10,887 %
1964-1965 11,303 %
1965-1966 12,419 %
1966-1967 13,480 %
1967-1968 15,601 %
1968-1969 16,233 %
1969-1970 238 16,430 1.40%
1970-1971 420 18,130 2.30%
1971-1972 637 19,160 3.30%
1972-1973 844 19,224 4.40%
1973-1974 985 19,396 5.10%
1974-1975 1198 19,563 6.10%
1975-1976 1363 20,536 6.60%
1976-1977 1,281 20,293 6.30%
1977-1978 1,269 20,162 6.30%
1978-1979 1,385 20,294 6.80%
1979-1980 1,581 21,060 7.50%
1980-1981 1,687 21,465 7.90%
1981-1982 1,809 21,575 8.40%
1982-1983 1,941 22,016 8.80%
1983-1984 1,883 21,757 8.70%
1984-1985 1,792 21,612 8.30%
1985-1986 1,742 22,021 7.90%
1986-1987 1,773 22,781 7.80%
1987-1988 1,726 22,921 7.50%
1988-1989 1,840 23,579 7.80%
1989-1990 1,921 23,592 8.10%
1990-1991 2,060 23,852 8.60%
1991-1992 2,023 23,794 8.50%
1992-1993 2,078 23,944 8.70%
1993-1994 2,082 24,299 8.60%
1994-1995 2,161 24,463 8.80%
1995-1996 2,254 24,439 9.20%
1996-1997 2,310 24,141 9.6%
1997-1998 2,364 24,189 9.8%
1998-1999 2,402 24,328 9.9%
1999-2000 2,419 24,635 9.8%
2000-2001 2,398 24,872 9.6%
2001-2002 2,490 25,464 9.8%
2002-2003 2,574 26,028 9.9%
2003-2004 2,658 26,359 10.1%
2004-2005 2,686 26,878 10.0%
2005-2006 2,692 27,276 9.9%
2006-2007 2,756 27,717 9.9%
2007-2008 2,813 28,136 9.9%
2008-2009 2,820 28,567 9.9%
2009-2010 2,793 28,916 9.7%
2010-2011 2,504 29,390 8.5%
2011-2012 2,489 29,137 8.5%
2012-2013 2,422 29,278 8.3%
2013-2014 2,334 29,127 8.0%
2014-2015 2,304 29,135 7.9%
2015-2016 2,353 29,048 8.1%

Statistics from 1951 to 1970 come primarily from the Records of the Office of the Registrar and Director of Institutional Research (#40130). Those from 1971 to 1980 come from the Records of the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Administration (#40301), and those from 1981 to 1986 come from the Records of the Office of the Chancellor (Fordham, #40024). Statistics from 1986 to present come from the UNC-Chapel Hill Fact Books produced by the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment. See the Excel spreadsheet for more detailed information on sources used.

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