Comparing Numbers of Minority Firefighters in North Carolina’s Largest Cities

The Fayetteville Observer today includes this story by Andrew Barksdale about the Fayetteville Fire Department’s efforts to improve the number of minority firefighters. Solid story, though invoking a quite a few negative reaction among readers, at least on the paper’s Facebook posting of the story. (Yeah, yeah, never read the comments after a story. It’ll just ruin your mood.)

Included is an interesting data table, comparing minority firefighters among the state’s largest cities:

Largest cities in NC White firefighters Black firefighters Hispanic firefighters
Charlotte 85% 11.5% 2.2%
Raleigh 81% 15.1% 2.4%
Greensboro 77% 16% 3%
Durham 76% 20% 1.8%
Winston-Salem 70.4% 26.1% 2.7%
Fayetteville 90% 3.2% 2.9%
Cary 94% 2.7% 2.2%
Wilmington 89% 6.3% 4%
High Point 85% 9.4% 0%

What are the demographic percentages for those cities? Let’s add those, with sources citied:

Largest cities in NC White firefighters White Population Black firefighters Black Population Hispanic firefighters Hispanic Population Demographics
Source
Charlotte 85% 50% 11.5% 35% 2.2% 13.1% US Gov (2010)
Raleigh 81% 57.5% 15.1% 29.3% 2.4% 11.4% US Gov (2010)
Greensboro 77% 48.4% 16% 40.6% 3% 7.5% US Gov (2010)
Durham 76% 53% 20% 38.6% 1.8% 13.4% US Gov (2014)
Winston-Salem 70.4% 77.4% 26.1% 13.2% 2.7% 17.4% US Gov (2014)
Fayetteville 90% 45.7% 3.2% 41.9% 2.9% 10.1% US Gov (2010)
Cary 94% 73.1% 2.7% 8% 2.2% 7.7% US Gov (2010)
Wilmington 89% 73.5% 6.3% 19.9% 4% 6.1% US Gov (2010)
High Point 85% 53.6% 9.4% 33.0% 0% 8.5% US Gov (2010)

How fresh is the originating data, for the various fire departments? Don’t know. Let’s presume the write contacted each of the fire departments, for the latest, greatest data.

How does the data compare with fire departments nationally, such as the nation’s largest departments? Can’t readily find any “one chart” comparison. Would like to see one, though. Maybe readers know of such a thing.

Nationally, the NFPA maintains statistics on firefighting occupations by women and race, with the latest data from 2012:

Year / Total White firefighters Black firefighters Hispanic firefighters
295,000 (2012) Below 82.4% 7.7% 9.9%
295,600 (average 2008-2012) Below 83.4% 7.2% 99.4%

Note: Why “below” for the white firefighter percentage? Because there are likely other races computed in the total, that aren’t listed in the NFPA report.

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