A record 3.8 million black immigrants now live in the United States, more than four times the number who lived here in 1980, according to Pew Research Center, which analyzed U.S. Census Department data.
In 1980, there were 3.1 million black immigrants in the U.S. In 1990, the number climbed to 4.9 million and in 2000, the number reached 6.7 million, reported Pew on Thursday. The latest figures are from 2013.
Black immigrants now account for 8.7% of the nation’s black population, but the Census Bureau projects that by 2060, 16.5% of U.S. blacks will be immigrants.
Black immigrants come from all parts of the world, but more than half are from the Caribbean, with Jamaica being the largest source of immigrants, followed by Haiti.
Black immigration is also fueled by countries in sub-Saharan Africa, led by Nigeria and Ethiopia.
The modern wave of black immigration to the U.S. began when America changed its immigration policy in the 1960s, which was designed to increase the number of European immigrants. The policy, however, also has benefited Africans.
Black immigrants are older than U.S. blacks with a median age of 42 versus 29 years old for the U.S.-born blacks. They are also more likely to have a bachelor’s degree or a graduate degree compared to U.S.-born blacks.