African Immigrant Population in U.S. Steadily Climbs

African Immigrant Population in U.S. Steadily Climbs

While African immigrants make up a small share of the nation's immigrant population, their overall numbers are growing, an analysis from the Pew Research Center finds. Based on U.S. Census Bureau data, the brief, African Immigrant Population in U.S. Steadily Climbs, found that 2.1 million African immigrants lived in the United States in 2015, accounting for 4.8 percent of the country's immigrant population, up significantly from 80,000 and 0.8 percent in 1970. One factor behind this recent wave can be traced to the Refugee Act of 1980, which made it easier for those fleeing conflict zones, including Somalia and Ethiopia, to resettle in the U.S. As of 2015, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, and Somalia were the top countries of origin among African-born U.S. immigrants. The analysis also found that African immigrants were more likely to settle in the South (39 percent) or the Northeast (25 percent) than in the Midwest (18 percent) or West (17 percent).