Census: D.C. Region Second-Most Popular Destination for African Immigrants

Census: D.C. Region Second-Most Popular Destination for African Immigrants

Only the New York area has more African immigrants than the Washington, D.C. region, as the last 12 years saw the largest increase in America’s African-born population. 

According to Census data that was released on Wednesday, “the foreign-born population from Africa has grown rapidly in the United States during the last 40 years, increasing from about 80,000 in 1970 to about 1.6 million in the period from 2008 to 2012.” The African immigration population “has roughly doubled each decade since 1970, with the largest increase happening from 2000 to 2008-2012.” 

According to the report, Maryland and Virginia are top destinations for African-born immigrants, and those from “Nigeria, Ethiopia, Egypt and Ghana make up 41 percent of the African-born total.” The report also found that: 

  • The four states with African-born populations over 100,000 were New York (164,000), California (155,000), Texas (134,000), and Maryland (120,000).
  • Of the 10 states with the largest African-born populations, Minnesota (19 percent), Maryland (15 percent), Virginia (9 percent), Georgia (8 percent), and Massachusetts (8 percent) had percentages of African-born in their foreign-born populations that were at least twice the national percentage of 4 percent.
  • Metropolitan areas with the largest African-born populations were New York (212,000), Washington (161,000), Atlanta (68,000), Los Angeles (68,000), Minneapolis-St. Paul (64,000), Dallas-Fort Worth (61,000), and Boston (60,000).

Nigerians “were the most populous group and constituted a high proportion (20 percent or more) of the African-born in the Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston metro areas;” Ethiopians “were a high proportion and the largest group in the Washington D.C. metro” area; and Liberians were the largest group in the Philadelphia area.  

After a Liberian immigrant in Texas became the first person on U.S. soil to be diagnosed with Ebola this week (he had a layover at Dulles Airport, reportedly knew he had the disease and flew to Texas hoping to get treated.), two people with “Ebola-like” symptoms were admitted to D.C. area hospitals on Friday. One person was admitted to Howard University hospital in D.C. with “Ebola-like” symptoms, while a second was admitted to a hospital in Montgomery County, Maryland. Montgomery County is known as one of the country’s most generous sanctuary counties and is a top destination for legal and illegal immigrants. 


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