As of 2019, most Black immigrants to the United States were from the Caribbean, according to data from the Pew Center, which discovered that just under 50 percent of the foreign-born Black population in the US was born in the Caribbean. The two Caribbean nations accounting for the largest number of Black immigrants were Jamaica, which accounted for 16 percent, and Haiti, which accounted for 15 percent. Pew also found through analysis of new data that 56 percent of the Black immigrants from the Caribbean have lived in the US for two decades or more.
Most Caribbean-born Black immigrants were concentrated in the Northeast or the South, at 48 percent and 47 percent, respectively. Comparatively, just three percent lived in the Midwest and Western parts of the US. The share of these immigrants in the South rose by ten percentage points, but the share of Caribbean-born Black immigrants living in the Northeast decreased over time. A 58-percent majority lived in the Northeast in 2000, but the percentage fell to 48 percent in 2019.
In New York City, there were about 260,000 Black Jamaica immigrant residents in 2019. This represented 35 percent of all the foreign-born Black Jamaicans living in the US. In Miami, which is the site of the largest Black Haitian immigrant community in the US, over 35 percent of these immigrants lived in the area and accounted for four percent of the metropolitan population.
The median income among households comprising Caribbean-born immigrants totaled $58,200. Caribbean-born immigrants have the highest US citizenship rates in the country with 65 percent being citizens. Pew found that 49 percent of the Black Caribbean-born immigrants in the US-owned their own homes, and only 11 percent lived below the poverty line.
While the Caribbean represents the largest origin source for Black immigrants, immigration from Africa has experienced the fastest growth rate. The immigration of Black people from Africa has been the chief driver of the general recent growth in the population of Black immigrants. Pew noted that between 2000 and 2019, the number of Black African immigrants to the US rose by 246 percent, or from about 600,000 to 2.0 million, which makes people of African origin 42 percent of the foreign-born Black population overall. In 2000, the figure was 23 percent. Outside of Africa and the Caribbean, about eight percent of Black immigrants to the US were born in South America.
Other data discovered by the Pew study noted that Black immigrants are most likely to be naturalized US citizens, with 60 percent of Black immigrants being naturalized compared with 52 percent of all US immigrants. Foreign-born Black immigrants are also more likely to be in the US with authorization than other US immigrants. In 2017, 625,000 Black immigrants, or 14 percent, living in the US were doing so without authorization. Comparatively, 23 percent of the approximately 45 million immigrants in the US are unauthorized.
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