Increase in immigration from Africa

The past two decades have seen a rise of as much as 200 percent in the rate of African immigrants coming to the United States from nations such as Ethiopia, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria.

Africans are among the quickest growing groups of immigrants who are travelling to the United States to seek US citizenship, according to a new study entitled “New Streams: Black African Immigration to the United States”. Three years ago back in 2009 immigrants from Africa of all races constituted around 4 percent of the country’s 38 million immigrants.

A different study, which was conducted by Rice University, has also shown that Nigerian-Americans are America’s most educated group of immigrants and are considerably more likely to go to college than is the case with any other immigrant group. Census data shows that immigrants from Nigeria have surpassed Asians and whites to be the group with the highest education level, with 17 percent of all Nigerians in the US holding a master’s degree, 4 percent holding a doctorate and 37 percent with a bachelor’s degree.

The Pew Hispanic Centre estimated five years ago back in 2007 that 30 percent of all of the immigrants in the US were there illegally, with black African immigrants estimated at a much lower rate of just 21 percent, the equivalent of around 200,000 people. Around 25 percent of black Africans had entered the United States as refugees, with 26 percent being legal permanent residents and another 26 percent having undergone naturalization with US citizenship.