Feb 1, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Black immigrant population surges in U.S.

Percentage growth of Black immigrant population, by state
Reproduced from Pew Research

The number of Black immigrants in the U.S. has soared 475% over the last 40 years and is expected to keep rising in the coming decades, according to a new Pew Research Center report.

Why it matters: The report using census data over the last four decades highlights the growing diversity of immigrants from Latin America, the Caribbean, and Africa and the often-overlooked diversity of the nation's Black population.

By the numbers: The number of Black immigrants living in the U.S. reached 4.6 million in 2019, up from about 800,000 in 1980, the study found.

  • That increase accounted for 19% of the growth in the nation's overall Black population.
  • By 2060, around a third of the U.S. Black population with be foreign-born if current trends continue.
  • More than half of Black immigrants (58%) arrived in the U.S. after 2000.

The intrigue: Before 2000, Black immigrants from Central America and Mexico were 59% of recent arrivals. Between 2010 and 2019, they were 18%.

  • States like Colorado, Texas, and Nevada saw some of the largest increases of Black immigrants over the last two decades.

Africa accounts for the fastest growth in the U.S. Black immigrant population, but the Caribbean remains the largest origin region.

  • Jamaica and Haiti are the top countries of origin for Black immigrants.

Don't forget: The number of U.S. Latinos identifying as multiracial skyrocketed during the last decade, while those identifying as solely white dropped significantly, according to the latest census.

  • The dramatic shift in racial identity among Latinos came after the census offered more options in 2020, giving Latinos the opportunity to officially embrace Indigenous and Black backgrounds.

Yes, but: The percentage of Latinos who identified as Black declined by 6% showing how residents used different options on identity.

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