Did you know that Haitians and Haitian-Americans represent the second largest black immigrant group living in the United States today?
Center for American Progress estimated that there are 3.7 million black immigrants currently in the United States. With the number of Haitians living in the US estimated at 676,000, we are only second to Jamaicans whom their number is estimated at 693,000. We may well surpass the Jamaicans if you want to take in consideration the Haitians living without legal documentation.
- 48 percent of all black immigrants come from the Caribbean,
- 43 percent come from African countries,
- 3.6 percent come from South America.
In 2015, there were about 676,000 Haitian immigrants in the United States. It was a significant rise from the 2010 figure of 587,000. Haitians account for nearly 2% of the U.S. foreign-born population. Out of the total 3.7 million immigrants in the U.S, 8.8% of the immigrant population are black. They come from a diverse group of countries, primarily in the Caribbean, Latin America-- 48% of them come from the Caribbean, 43% of African countries, and 3.6% from South America. Recent statistics show that the largest individual home countries of black immigrants in the United States today are Jamaica (693,000), Haiti (668,223), Nigeria (306,874), Ethiopia (244,924), and Trinidad and Tobago (242,661). In 2015, there were 619,000 unauthorized black immigrants living in the U.S. As per Centre for American Progress Report, about 29% of the black immigrants aged 25 and older hold a bachelor's or advanced degree, similar to the rate for all immigrants (30%) and overall U.S. population. Black immigrants from Africa are more likely than Americans overall to have a college degree or higher.
It is important to note that there were no numbers of Haitian immigrants before 1932 because then Haitians were the classified as Caribbean immigrants. Haitians started immigrating to the United States in the early 1800s, but did not receive much attention until the 1950s and early 1960s when Haitian immigration to the U.S. began to increase visibly. While just 5,000 Haitians lived in the United States in 1960, beginning in December 1972, a stream of Haitian "boat people" fled the brutal Duvalier dictatorship in Haiti for the United States. In May 1981, U.S. immigration officials began detaining all undocumented Haitians without the possibility of bond.
During 1950s and 1960s, the migrated Haitians were professional and highly-skilled workers, the Haitian educational and economic elite that were exiled by Duvalier. In the mid 1970s, Haitian immigrants were lower-middle class (known as boat people). Like many Latino groups of immigrants, Haitian immigrants initially intended to return to their homeland, but cannot because of unstable political and poor economic reasons.