Thursday, October 2, 2014

Statisitics on African born immigrants in the U.S.

I stumbled upon an interesting article in the WP that led me to a recently released brief by the US Census Bureau outlining some interesting stats on the growing demography of Africans in America.

The article can be freely accessed here.

Some figures and highlights I found interesting follows:


According to the 2008–2012 American Community Survey (ACS), 39.8 million foreign-born people resided in the United States, including 1.6 million from Africa, or about 4 percent of the total foreign-born population. In 1970, there were about 80,000 African foreign born, representing less than 1 percent of the total foreign-born population (Figure 1). During the following four decades, the number of foreign born from Africa grew rapidly, roughly doubling each decade.
About three-fourths of the foreign-born population from Africa came to live in the United States after 1990. The timing of this movement was driven in part by historical changes. Outmigration from Africa increased rapidly after World War II, as migrants responded to.....


Of the 1.6 million foreign born from Africa in the United States, 36 percent were from Western Africa, 29 percent were from Eastern Africa, and 17 percent were from Northern Africa, followed by Southern Africa (5 percent), Middle Africa (5 percent), and other Africa (7 percent)


...Of these seven, the four largest were Nigeria (221,000 or 14 percent of the African-born population), Ethiopia (164,000 or 10 percent), Egypt (143,000 or 9 percent), and Ghana (121,000 or 8 percent), together constituting 41 percent of the African-born total....


.....Forty-one percent of the African-born population had a bachelor’s degree or higher in 2008–2012, compared with 28 percent of the overall foreign born. Egypt (64 percent) and Nigeria (61 percent) were among the African countries of birth with the highest proportion of bachelor’s and higher degrees. 


 ^ I was surprised (and slightly disappointed) by the relatively lower attainment of Bachelor's degrees by Ethiopians in the US. According to the report, 26% of Ethiopians attained a Bachelor's degree or higher, which is lower than both the foreign born (28%) and the National (30%) attainment levels.

The article attempts at explaining the disparity in educational attainment levels by stating:

The difference in educational attainment among the populations from different African countries in part reflects how they immigrated to the United States. A relatively high proportion of immigrants from Africa entered the United States on diversity visas (24 percent as compared with 5 percent of the overall foreign born), which require a high school diploma or equivalent work experience.The foreign born from Somalia, who mostly entered the United States as refugees or asylees (82 percent in 2010), not as diversity migrants (1 percent in 2010), were an exception to this overall pattern. Forty percent of the Somali born had less than a high school education.

On the bright side, Nigerians and Egyptians have attained Bachelor's degrees (or higher) at a level 2 times than that of the whole nation, which is impressive.


2 comments: