AA architects: the numbers 2017


This is my seventh installment of looking at the number of African American architects registered in the US. At the end of 2017, there were about 2,163 currently licensed African American architects registered at The Directory of African American Architects.

Looking at the total number of African-American architect per year, we see that there is an upward trend over the last three years. We saw a big drop in 2014, with only 23 new licensees but since that time the number has been over 50 for each of the subsequent years.

Year 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Total 40 30 71 59 52


Looking at the national picture, NCARB (NBTN 2017) also reported a slump in ARE completions from 2009 to 2014 but not as severe. For the past few years, that number has been increasing.





NCARB also saw a big dip of AXP (formerly IDP) completions in 2014 but that has sharply increased over the last few years.






For historical context, this chart shows the number of new African-American licensees by year since  1950.






This year also brought a significant milestone. The number of actively licensed African-American women reached 400 in July 2017. This is laudable considering that  there were only 200 licensed African-American women in 2006. In a little over ten years, the number has more than doubled. For comparison, it took about thirteen years (1993 – 2006) for the number to double from 100 to 200 women. This is still less than 1% (0.4% to be exact) of the 109,000 architects licensed in the US. See a list of initiatives here that are helping to increase this number.


Share your thoughts in the comments below.


Read the previous annual posts:

2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010


**Note: listings in the directory are self-reported and continuously updated. Check the website for current totals.