The U.S. Black immigrant population is on the rise and researchers believe their numbers will continue to grow.
According to the Pew Research Center, in 2019 there were 4.6 million Black immigrants living in the United States, up 3% since 1980. Approximately 1 in 10 Black people living in the U.S. were not born in America.
By 2060, the U.S. Black immigrant population is projected to more than double, increasing to 9.5 million. As more individuals migrate from Africa, the U.S. seems to be their preferred destination. And as they build a life on American soil, their children are integrating into the U.S.-born Black population.
According to Pew, nearly 9% of Black people in the U.S. are second-generation Americans, who themselves were born in America, but have at least one parent born aboard. Their addition to society has shifted the number of Americans who identify as “Black.” Pew found that Black immigrants and their U.S.-born children account for 21% of the overall Black population. There are roughly 42 million people in the U.S. who identify as Black.
Although the populations of U.S.-born Blacks and U.S. Black immigrants are both trending upwards, the immigrant population is projected to grow 90% between 2020 and 2060, as compared to 29% for Blacks born in the U.S.
The population growth among Black immigrants isn’t just beginning. Since 1980, more and more foreign-born Black has been making the U.S. their home. They also have a tradition of assimilating into American culture. When compared to U.S born Blacks, Black immigrants tend to be slightly higher on the socio-economic food chain.
According to Pew, in 2019 Black immigrants had more college degrees than U.S.-born Blacks and had a higher median household income.
Regardless of these slight differences, Black immigrants still face similar discriminations as U.S.-born Blacks. Homeowners among Black Americans, foreign or U.S. are still disproportionally lower than other non-Black Americans. The number of Black immigrants living below the poverty line is also higher than the American average.
As the Black U.S. population continues to grow and shift, so should our ideals as a people. For too long there has been a contentious air between U.S.-born Blacks and Black immigrants. As their numbers grow, so do ours and if we embrace each other as one people, there is no telling what we can accomplish.