The black immigrant population has contributed to the diversity of the US population in important ways. According to recent research by the Pew, one in ten Black people in the US are immigrants. The number of Black immigrants living in the country reached 4.6 million in 2019, up from roughly 800,000 in 1980. The Black immigrant population is projected to account for roughly a third of the U.S. Black population’s growth through 2060.

Between 2000 and 2019, the Black African immigrant population grew 246%, from about 600,000 to 2.0 million. As a result, people of African origin now make up 42% of the country’s foreign-born Black population, up from just 23% in 2000. Nigeria and Ethiopia were the third and fourth most common birthplaces for Black African immigrants in 2019, with roughly 390,000 and 260,000 immigrants, respectively.

In this blog, we want to highlight the diversity of the African diaspora in general and in particular, the states of Maryland, Washington DC and Virginia.

African Immigrants in the DMV

In the District of Columbia Maryland, and Virginia region known as the DMV, the African diaspora is estimated to be over 200,000 people. This population is highly diverse, with roots in many different countries and regions. Most immigrants from Africa residing in the DMV hail from Ethiopia. More than a third of the Africa immigrant population come from four other countries: Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, and Sierra Leone. In the past ten years, the number of immigrants from Africa living in the Washington, DC metro area has increased by 46%. This influx has had a positive impact on the region, providing new perspectives and adding to the cultural diversity of the area. The State of Immigrants in District of Columbia report states that “The makeup of DC’s immigrant community has changed notably in part because it has welcomed immigrants from different countries and regions of origin and has become home to immigrants with a longer tenure in the US”.

Strength in Diversity

African diasporans are a diverse group, coming from a variety of countries and cultures. Our African heritage is a rich tapestry of traditions, cultures, and languages, which makes us unique and special. Yet, it’s this same diversity that unites Africans. Although African immigrants may come from different countries and cultures, they are united by their shared experience of overcoming adversity and striving to create a better life for themselves and their families.

Making a Positive Impact on the Community

The black immigrant population has helped to shape the country in many ways, including through their contributions to the arts, business, and politics of the country as a whole, and the region in particular. African immigrants reporting high levels of education, particularly in high demand fields including science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and healthcare. African immigrants are also highly likely to participate in the workforce as entrepreneurs. Consequently., African immigrant households contribute billions of dollars to the economy in terms of day to day expenditure and tax contributions.

Conclusion

Today, black immigrants make up a growing portion of the population of the United States, and their presence has helped to make the country a more vibrant and diverse place – from the cultural, social, economic to the political landscape. Indeed, the African diaspora’s impact in America has been immense and will continue to be a significant influence in the future.