Though they are only 4.8% of all US immigrants, there are now more than 2 million African immigrants in the US, according to data from the US Census Bureau analyzed by Pew Research Center. Since 1970, their population has nearly doubled every decade.
Of major immigrant groups arriving in America, Africans grew the fastest—41%—between 2000 and 2013. Black African immigrants also grew several times faster than other black immigrant groups from Latin America and the Caribbean.
As we’ve previously reported, much of the increase has been down to new laws like the Refugee Act of 1980, which made it easier for Africans to flee conflict-prone countries on the continent and resettle in America.
But if Donald Trump’s administration succeeds in reinstating the ban on arrivals from seven Muslim-majority countries—currently blocked by US courts—it will dent African immigrant numbers. Those countries include Somalia and Sudan. In 2015, Somalia was among the top 10 countries by refugee arrivals. More than 10,000 refugees from Somalia and Sudan arrived in the US in 2015—almost half of African refugee arrivals that year.
The preferred states for Africans settling in the US include Texas, New York, California, Maryland, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Virginia, each of which has more than 100,000 African immigrants. Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, remains the largest country of origin, accounting for 16% of all Africans arriving in the US.