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10 Things You Should Know About the African Immigrant

  in  ·
July 18, 2013

Photo, Dayo Olopade

From an African’s perspective, Europe is not the only place filled with opportunities, riches and hospitality. Many Africans dream of going to the country of freedom and new beginnings: They desire to reside in the United States. Since 1960, over 1 million African immigrants have crossed U.S. borders in search of opportunity, To learn more about the immigrants from Africa in the U.S., take a look at 10 interesting facts about the African immigrant.

  1. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, African immigrants here are more likely to be college educated than any other immigrant group.
  2. Nearly 49% of all African immigrants hold a college diploma; slightly higher than Asian immigrants, twice the rate of Caucasians and 4 times the rate of native born African Americans.
  3. African immigrants typically settle in heavily urban areas upon arrival in the U.S. More than half of African immigrants live in New York, California, Texas, Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey and Massachusetts.
  4. African immigrants tend to retain their culture once in the United States. Many African immigrants continue to cook African dishes in their homes as well as teach their children their native language.
  5. African immigrants in the U.S. primarily originate from Nigeria, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana and Kenya.
  6. Dikembe Mutombo, Hakeem Olajuwon and Freddy Adu are three of the many prominent African immigrants in sports.
  7. Notable African immigrants in the arts include Academy Award-winning actress Charlize Theron, Grammy-winning musician Angelique Kidjo, Academy Award-nominated actor Djimon Hounsou, and Grammy Award-winning musician Dave Matthews,
  8. Notable African immigrants in education include Ahmed Zewail (Egyptian), winner of the 1999 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Kitaw Ejigu (Ethiopian), former NASA chief engineer, and Claude Ake (Nigerian), a visiting Political Science professor at Yale.
  9. Immigrants from Africa have opened up a number of new restaurants introducing the west to unique delicacies from the continent.
  10. African immigrants’ goals include creating new lives in the U.S. and/or using resources and skills gained in the U.S. to help their countries of origin.

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