FACTS ON BLACKS: The Voting Bloc in U.S. is Growing Rapidly

Seems rarer and rarer these days to see advertising on television or anywhere that says that around 12 percent to 14 percent of the United States population is considered to be black or African American.

Webp.net resizeimage 75That includes, conservatively, 4.2 million black foreign-born immigrants, who now make up a sizeable percentage of the immigrant voting bloc.

In a period in our history when at least two black Democratic candidates for U.S. president will be lobbying hard for the support of black voters in 2020, the significance of this bloc has been ratcheted up a few notches.

Here are five things you should know about them:

1: According to 2016 American Community Survey data, roughly one-in-10 blacks living in the U.S. are foreign born, which totals to around nine percent or about 4.2 million. That’s up from three percent from 1980, according to the Pew Research Center.

By 2060, the black immigrant population could triple to about 12 million people, according Mark Hugo Lopez, director of Hispanic research at the Pew Research Center.

2: Nearly six-in-10 foreign-born blacks or 58 percent are naturalized U.S. citizens, meaning they can vote.

That’s compared with just 49 percent of foreign-born immigrants overall, according to Pew.

3: Black immigrants agefive and up are more likely than the overall immigrant population to be proficient English speakers. Pew Research puts the number at 74 percent, compared to 51 percent for other immigrants.

CARIBBEAN

4: Roughly half of all foreign-born blacks living in the U.S. as of 2016 - or 49 percent - are from the Caribbean. Jamaica, Haiti, Trinidad and Tobago, the Dominican Republic and Guyana account for the largest number of black foreign-born immigrants.

Black Africans make up 39 percent of the overall foreign-born black population, up from 24 percent in 2000, with Nigerians and Ethiopians leading the bloc.

More African-born blacks arrived between 2000 and 2005 than in the previous decade. Nearly two-thirds of Caribbean-born blacks live in the New York or Miami metropolitan areas.

African-born blacks are more dispersed throughout the U.S. Among the top cities for African-born blacks are New York, Washington, D.C., Minneapolis and Atlanta, but three-fifths live in some other metropolitan areas, such as Philadelphia, Los Angeles or Dallas.

5: Compared to blacks born in the U.S., black immigrants tend to be older, are more likely to hold a college degree and be married, and are less likely to live in poverty, according to the report.

Educational attainment was found to vary widely by country of origin. For example, 59 percent of foreign-born blacks from Nigeria and 47 percent from Kenya have a bachelor’s or advanced degree, according to the Pew data. That’s roughly double that of the overall U.S. population.

Some 20 percent of Caribbean-born blacks have a college degree.

  • Roughly half of all foreign-born blacks living in the U.S. as of 2016 - or 49 percent - are from the Caribbean. Jamaica, Haiti, Trinidad and Tobago, the Dominican Republic and Guyana account for the largest number of black foreign-born immigrants.

2) Compared to blacks born in the U.S., black immigrants tend to be older, are more likely to hold a college degree and be married, and are less likely to live in poverty, according to the report.

Felicia J. Persaud

The writer is CMO at Hard Beat Communications, Inc. which owns the brands: NewsAmericasNow, Carib PRWire and InvestCaribbeanNow.

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