African immigrant population in U.S. steadily climbs – Ethiopia is the 2nd Top Birthplaces

Immigration From Africa Surges Since 1970African immigrants make up a small share of the U.S. immigrant population, but their numbers are growing – roughly doubling every decade since 1970, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census data.

There were 1.8 million African immigrants living in the U.S. in 2013, up from 881,000 in 2000 and a substantial increase from 1970, when the U.S. was home to only 80,000 foreign-born Africans. They accounted for 4.4% of the immigrant population in 2013, up from 0.8% in 1970.

The growth is evident among recently arrived immigrants. When compared with other major groups who arrived in the U.S. in the past five years, Africans had the fastest growth rate from 2000 to 2013, increasing by 41% during that period. (Africans are also a rapidly growing segment of the black immigrant population in the U.S., increasing by 137% from 2000 to 2013.)

The transatlantic slave trade beginning in the 16th century brought hundreds of thousands of enslaved Africans to the U. S., but significant voluntary migration from Africa is a relatively new trend. 

One factor behind this recent wave can be traced to the Refugee Act of 1980, which made it easier for those fleeing conflict-ridden areas, such as Somalia and Ethiopia, to resettle in the U.S. Back then, less than 1% of all refugee arrivals were from Africa, compared with 32% today, according to figures from the U.S. State Department’s Refugee Processing Center. Statistics from the Yearbook of Immigration Statistics confirm this point. Among refugee arrivals in 2013, five of the top 10 countries of nationality were in Africa: Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, Eritrea and Ethiopia.

Nigeria, Ethiopia, Egypt Are Top Birthplaces for African Immigrants in U.S.

African immigrants from the sub-Saharan region are also more likely than immigrants overall to enter the U.S. through the diversity visa program – an act passed in 1990 to encourage immigration from underrepresented nations. This legislation was initially intended to boost the number of Europeans migrating to the U.S., but many Africans have also benefited from the initiative.

Foreign-born Africans come from all over the continent, but the most common countries of origin for African immigrants are Nigeria, Ethiopia, Egypt, Ghana and Kenya. These five countries accounted for nearly half of the foreign-born African population in the U.S in 2o13.

African immigrants are more likely to settle in the South (38%) or the Northeast (27%) than in the West (18%) or Midwest (17%), while the largest numbers of African immigrants are found in New York, California, Texas, Maryland and New Jersey. Each of these states is home to at least 100,000 foreign-born Africans.

In other states, Africans represent a higher percentage of the foreign-born population than the national average. Many African refugees from Sudan, Somalia and Ethiopia have settled in South Dakota (Ethiopians are the largest immigrant group overall there). Africans make up 28% of South Dakota’s foreign-born population. Fueled by Minnesota’s sizable Somali-born community, 21% of the foreign-born population in that state is African. Africans account for a sizable portion of the overall immigrant population in several other areas, including Washington, D.C., Maryland and Maine.

Note: The map that accompanies this post has been updated.

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Posted by on November 5, 2015. Filed under FEATURED. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

2 Responses to African immigrant population in U.S. steadily climbs – Ethiopia is the 2nd Top Birthplaces

  1. Gebre silassie Birru

    November 5, 2015 at 7:41 PM

    Monica I wonder your article, but it is the shamefull data for the richest continent in the world in natural resource.
    The Africans immigration data specially Ethiopia is true as well in europe.
    let me see the pushing factors:

    Right now More than 10 Milion Ethiopians are starved this famine is not merely a result of the lack of rainfall rather it occurs three times is the last 25 years due to the systematic failure of ethnic apartide regim of ethiopia (TPLF).

    The 2015 A high level panel delegated by the African Union (AU) and chaired by Thabo Mbeki, the former president of South Africa, has found Ethiopia to be among the top African nations in terms of being a source of illicit financial flows (IFFs), most of which makes ways to the developed world.

    The panel was tasked to find out how prone Africa is for a systematic financial theft which mostly is orchestrated by giant multinational companies operating in the continent. The panel’s report dubbed “track it, stop it and get it” found that in five decades alone, the continent is estimated to have lost one trillion dollars; and currently nations including Ethiopia are losing some 60 billion dollars due to illicit financial flows across the board. With Nigeria leading the pack of top loser counties in Africa, Ethiopia alone lost a cumulative of USD 16.5 billion between 1970 and 2008. But, since 2010, Ethiopia more likely lost USD 10 billion it cost the country some six percent of its GDP annually.

    We may wittness soon the name of Libya in the high immigrant list of US due to the incalculated intervention of Western which is leading the richest country to the next somalia.
    Gebrensilasie Birru

  2. Issac Kifle

    November 7, 2015 at 2:54 PM

    USA is becoming more and more Ethiopianized by the Ethiopian-Americans. You can find every type of ethiopian products in USA except maybe khat and other illegal products. The fact Ethiopia exports all kind of products to USA might seem a good idea from far but when you study it closely you find out many losses Ethiopia is suffering in the hands of export Business people of Ethiopia.Most donot take back all the amount they made from their export to Ethiopia. Actually the majority is suspected to be keeping more than half the profit right here in USA by reporting little profit to the Ethiopians government to evade taxation . They tell their emp.oyees they sold the products for the fraction of what they siold for so the starving employees keep working for cheap. Some say they donot tell the correct price of the products they sold in foreign countries because they want to avoid competition. All in all we see USA and other countries having billions of dollars that belongs Ethiopia individual export business persons, the money could have been used to save lives if only Ethiopia had a fair , transparent , law abiding , democratic a, free and ethical system of managing it’s people’s and their resources. All Tigrayans got their properties(which were confiscated by Derg) returned to them while the Amaras and others that didn’t get their properties returned keep loosing the fruit of their labors to foreign exporters-Tigrayan affiliated business people investment in foreign lands.