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File photo of immigrants who were recruited to join the U.S. Navy taking the oath of citizenship. Photo from Official U.S. Navy Page/Flickr

Black immigrant population in U.S. expected to triple by 2060, study finds

The number of black immigrants living in the United States has nearly quadrupled since 1980 and is expected to continue to grow, according to a new report that the Pew Research Center released today.

An estimated 3.8 million black immigrants live in the United States, making up nearly 9 percent of the nation’s overall black population, Pew’s analysis of the Census Bureau’s 2013 American Community Survey data revealed.

By 2060, the black immigrant population is projected to triple from what it is today, amounting to about 12 million people, said Mark Hugo Lopez, director of Hispanic research at the Pew Research Center.

“When we talk about the nation’s black population, it’s one that is becoming increasingly foreign born,” Lopez said, drawing a distinction between the black population and the Hispanic and Asian populations in the U.S., which generally are perceived as being foreign born.

About half of all black immigrants in the U.S. are from the Caribbean, with most originally from Jamaica and Haiti. However, an increasing share of these immigrants are arriving from Africa, primarily Nigeria and Ethiopia.

“What I found really striking was the growth in black immigration from African countries,” said Monica Anderson, research analyst at the Pew Research Center who authored the report. “Since 2000, the number of black immigrants that have come to the U.S. from Africa has more than doubled.”

Nearly one-third of immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa enter this country as refugees, according to the report, while 13 percent of immigrants from all countries are considered refugees when they arrive in the United States.

Ultimately, these immigrants tend to live in urban areas either in the Northeast or in the South, the report said.

Compared to blacks born in the United States, black immigrants tend to be older, are more likely to hold a college degree and be married and are less likely to live in poverty, according to the report. These immigrants also are more likely to speak English proficiently when compared to the overall immigrant population in the United States.

The share of black immigrants within the overall U.S. black population is expected to grow from nearly 9 percent to almost 17 percent by 2060, the report says.

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