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US’ Black population being transformed by migration – Pew research

4 February 20220 comments

A new study had revealed the growth and diversity of America’s black population which is becoming more culturally vibrant because of migration.

A study by the Washington-based think tank The Pew Research Center has examined the size and characteristics, as well as the projected future growth of the US’ Black population.

Ten per cent of black people in the US are immigrants, the Pew Center research found, with the number of Black immigrants living in the country reaching 4.6 million in 2019, up from roughly 800,000 in 1980.

This increase accounted for 19 per cent of the growth in the overall Black population, which increased by 20 million during the same period. It is expected to reach 9.5 million by 2060, a third of whom will be migrants.

As well as the 12 per cent of Black people who were born in a foreign country themselves, roughly 9 per cent are second-generation Americans.

“Combined, these two groups account for 21 per cent of the overall Black population – comparable to the share among Americans overall, but lower than the share among Hispanics or Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders,’ the Pew study said.

More than half of Black immigrants, or 58 per cent, arrived in the US after 2000. Roughly three-in-ten (31 per cent) came to the US between 2010 and 2019, and a little over a quarter (27 per cent) immigrated between 2000 and 2009. Among all US immigrants, by comparison, about half have immigrated to the country since 2o00, including a quarter who did so between 2010 and 2019 and another quarter who did so between 2000 and 2009.

“Among Black immigrants, the year of immigration differs by birth region. African-born Black immigrants stand out for their more recent arrival in the US: Three-quarters immigrated in 2000 or later, with over four-in-ten (43 per cent) arriving between 2010 and 2019 alone. Black immigrants born in other regions – the Caribbean, Central America or Mexico, or South America – came to the US earlier than their African-born counterparts, on average, with majorities of all three regions arriving before 2000,’ the Pew research found.

Africa has accounted for the fastest growth in the US Black immigrant population, but the Caribbean remains the largest origin region. Together, these two regions accounted for 88 per cent of all Black foreign-born people in the U.S. in 2019.

“Between 2000 and 2019, the Black African immigrant population grew 246 per cent, from about 600,000 to two million. As a result, people of African origin now make up 42 per cent of the country’s foreign-born Black population, up from just 23 per cent in 2000,” the report said.

The Caribbean remains the most common region of birth for US Black immigrants. Just under half of the foreign-born Black population was born in this region with 46 per cent.

The report found a growing share of Black immigrants now have a university degree or higher.

“Between 2000 and 2019, the share of Black immigrants with at least a bachelor’s degree has increased faster than among other populations in this analysis. Nearly a third of Black immigrants ages 25 and older (31 per cent) had at least a bachelor’s degree in 2019, up from 21 per cent in 2000,” the report said.

“This 10 percentage point increase was larger than the increase among the Black US-born population (8 points), the entire US-born population (9 points) and the entire immigrant population (9 points),” it said.

Overall, Black immigrants earn college degrees at a similar rate to all US immigrants – 31 per cent vs 33 per cent among those 25 and older in 2019, the Pew study found.

New York City has the largest Black immigrant population of any metropolitan area, numbering about 1.1 million in 2019, the report found. 

Miami as the second-largest such population, with roughly 490,000, followed by the Washington, DC, area, home to roughly 260,000.

The other top metro areas for Black immigrants include Atlanta, Boston, Houston and Dallas.