US black population being reshaped by immigration

HaitiansA new report reveals that the overall black population of the United States has been reshaped by increasing amounts of black immigrants over the course of the last few decades, especially in cities with large US-born black communities such as Washington.

A record-breaking 3.8 million black people who were born overseas now reside in the United States, the report from the Pew Research Center, which was released yesterday, states. The number of black immigrants has expanded considerably from just 3.1% of the nation’s black population in 1980 to 8.7% in 2013. The report claims that this figure will have reached 16.5% by the year 2060. Experts say that the report highlights how America’s black population is no longer as homogeneous as was once the case.

“I think when you’re talking about the black population, it’s increasingly important to be able to pull apart the distinctions between US-born blacks of several generations, compared to the new immigrants,” says demographer and Brookings Institution senior fellow with the Metropolitan Policy Program William H Fray. “Just because they’re new immigrants, they have different needs and patterns, probably in terms of language in many cases, in terms of assimilation. And so they probably shouldn’t be confused with native-born blacks in lots of ways, who have their own needs to be addressed.”

The Pew report states that black immigrants tend to be older, tend to have higher incomes, and are likely to be more highly educated.