by Frederick H. Lowe
Black immigrants from other parts of the world are boosting this country’s black population, and the immigrants’ median income is 30% higher than that of U.S.-born blacks.
“Since 1980, the number of black immigrants has more than quadrupled, reaching a record more than 3.8 million living in the U.S. today,” The Nielsen Company published in a recent report titled “Increasingly Affluent, Educated and Diverse: African American Consumers: The Untold Story: 2015 Report.”
Black immigrants now account for 8.7% of the nation’s black population, or one in every 11 blacks, nearly triple their 3.1% share in 1980, the report stated.
The growth in the black immigrant population is predicted to continue. By 2060, the U.S. Census reports that one out of every six U.S. blacks or 16.5% will be immigrants.
Blacks from the Caribbean account for almost 50% of the black immigrants but blacks from Africa are driving recent growth. Black African immigrants account for 36% of the total foreign-born U.S. black population, up from 7% in 1980 and up from 24% in 2000.
Nigeria and Ethiopia are the two countries with the greatest number black African immigrants, the report stated.
Thirty-four percent of black immigrants live in the Miami metro area compared with 28% who live in the New York metro area and 15% live in the Washington, D.C. metro area.
Education is very important to African immigrants, suggesting that they are looking for more opportunity, rather than fleeing poverty.
Harold Ekeh is an example of a black-immigrant success story.
Earlier this year, Ekeh, the 18-year-old son of Nigerian immigrants, was accepted at all eight Ivy League schools, but that’s only part of the story. He was accepted at a total of 14 universities, including MIT.
Both of his parents hold clerical jobs at Target.
Ekeh, who attended high school on Long Island, N.Y., said his parents had a very comfortable life in Nigeria. He plans to major in neurobiology or chemistry.