Report: Black Immigrant Population Rapidly Rising

Report: Black Immigrant Population Rapidly Rising Black immigrants Patricia Williams greets newly sworn in U.S. citizens outside of a naturalization ceremony held by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services at the Los Angeles Convention Center on Feb. 15, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

By Charles Kim | Tuesday, 01 February 2022 04:47 PM

The number of Black immigrants coming to the united Staes has sharply increased by more than 400% since 1980, a new report from the Pew Research Center found.

According to the report, the population of Black immigrants increased from 800,000 in 1980 to 4.6 million in 2019, accounting for 19% of the overall 20 million increase in the Black population during the same period.

If the trend continues, the Black immigrant population will account for a third of the overall Black population growth through 2060 with an estimated 9.5 million Black immigrants.

The rise during the last four decades comes from the Caribbean and Africa, with the number of Caribbean immigrants increasing from 1.4 million in 1980 to 2.1 million in 2019, and immigrants from Africa increasing from 600,000 in 1980 to 2 million in 2019, according to the report.

Jamaica and Haiti led the way as countries of origin in 2019, making up 31% of the Black immigrant population with 16% and 15% respectively.

That number was down from the combined 39% in 2000, showing the growing diversity of the Black immigrant population.

The nest highest countries of origin in 2019 were Nigeria and Ethiopia with 390,000 and 260,000 respectively, the report found.

All the top 10 nations of origin for Black immigrants came from either the Caribbean or Africa, accounting for 66% of the foreign-born Black immigrant population in 2019, the report said.

Most of the Black immigrants coming to the U.S. settled in either the south (42%) or northeast (36%), with the greater New York metropolitan area seeing a population of 1.1 million, followed by the Miami, Florida, metro area with about 490,000.

The Washington, D.C. metropolitan area came in third with about 260,000 followed by Atlanta, Georgia, Boston, Massachusetts, and Houston and Dallas in Texas.

According to the report, the number of Black immigrants is on pace to outnumber the U.S. born Black population, growing at a rate of 90% through 2060 compared to a projected growth rate of just 29% for native born Black people.

As the Black population grows and the number of immigrants increases, so does the way Blacks self-identify, increasing the diversity of the community, the report said.

In 2000, 93% of Black people identified as "Black" alone, compared to 87% in 2019, with 8% saying their race was Black and something else, and a third group, 5% self-identified as Black and Hispanic, or Black Hispanic.