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BLACK Immigrants in the U.S.A.

Updated: Mar 12, 2020

I have personally witnessed an increase in black immigrants in my own neighborhood and on my job. I have distributed personal help items such as food, hygiene products, clothing, blankets, and diapers to families from many countries in Africa and from around the world. Even when I have visited my sisters in both Oklahoma and Minnesota I am often surprised by the number of African families I see. It was not until I read this article below that I begin to understand what I was watching with my own eyes. I am not opposed to immigrants coming to our country. In fact, I celebrate the diversity in the culture we live in here in America.

According to an article in FACT TANK by Monica Anderson and Gustavo Lopez, January 24, 2018, the United States has long had a sizable black population because of the transatlantic slave trade beginning in the 16th century. But significant voluntary black migration is a relatively new development – and one that has increased rapidly over the past two decades. Here’s a closer look at the black immigrant population in the U.S.:

1. The black immigrant population has increased fivefold since 1980. There were 4.2 million black immigrants living in the U.S. in 2016, up from just 816,000 in 1980, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data. Since 2000 alone, the number of black immigrants living in the country has risen 71%.

2. Much of the recent growth in the foreign-born black population has been fueled by African migration. Between 2000 and 2016, the black African immigrant population more than doubled, from 574,000 to 1.6 million. Africans now make up 39% of the overall foreign-born black population, up from 24% in 2000. Still, roughly half of all foreign-born blacks living in the U.S. in 2016 (49%) were from the Caribbean, with Jamaica and Haiti being the largest source countries.

3. When compared with other immigrant groups, blacks are more likely to be U.S. citizens or to be proficient English speakers. Roughly six-in-ten foreign-born blacks (58%) are U.S. citizens, compared with 49% of immigrants overall. And given that many black immigrants are from English-speaking nations, black immigrants ages 5 and older are also more likely than the overall immigrant population to be proficient English speakers (74% vs. 51%).

4. There were 619,000 unauthorized black immigrants living in the U.S. in 2015, accounting for 15% of foreign-born blacks, according to Pew Research Center estimates. By comparison, 24% of the overall immigrant population is unauthorized.

5. Overall, black immigrants (28%) are somewhat less likely than the overall U.S. population (31%) to have a college degree or more, but black immigrants from Africa are more likely than Americans overall to have a college degree or higher.


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