Immigrants Making Up Growing Share of Black Population

With a record 3.8 million black immigrants from around the world currently living in the U.S., there are four times more black immigrants in the U.S. today than in 1980, according to a new Pew Study.

According to the the report, released Thursday, black immigrants now make up 8.7 percent of the U.S. black population — or almost triple the percentage since 1990. The growth is on track to continue.

The Census Bureau, the report notes, is projecting that by 2060 black immigrants will make up 16.5 percent of the black population.

Immigrants from the Caribbean make up about half of the immigrant population.

“Jamaica is the largest source country, with about 682,000 black immigrants born there, accounting for 18% of the national total. Haiti follows with 586,000 black immigrants, making up 15% of the U.S. black immigrant population,” the report reads.

While the Caribbean holds the greatest current share of the black immigrant population, the report points out that it is immigration from Africa that is driving the recent growth.

“Between 2000 and 2013, the number of black African immigrants living in the U.S. rose 137%, from 574,000 to 1.4 million. Africans now make up 36% of the total foreign-born black population, up from 24% in 2000 and just 7% in 1980,” the report reads.

In terms of where in Africa, the report explains the majority are from Sub-Saharan countries and just one percent of black immigrants hail from North Africa. Nigeria and Ethiopia are the African countries with the greatest numbers of nationals coming to the U.S. with 226,000 immigrants and 191,000 immigrants, respectively.

Other regions where black immigration has originated include 5 percent from South America and four percent from Central America, two percent from Europe and one percent from Asia.

The report explains that the increase in black immigration began in 1960s with the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965. Additional legislation in the 1980s and 1990s also benefited black immigration to the U.S.


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