Highlights

Read, see the statistics: Donald Trump wrong on African immigrants “shithole countries” slur

Sub-Saharan immigrants have much higher educational attainment compared to the overall foreign- and native-born populations. Compared to the total foreign-born population, they were also among the best educated immigrants as a group and were less likely to be Limited English Proficient.

On Thursday January 11, 2018, Donald Trump used blunt, vulgar, language in questioning why the United States would accept more immigrants from Haiti and “shithole countries” in Africa rather than places like Norway.

Describing a group of people from different hemispheres, whose only commonality is the colour of their skin as undesirable for the US is basically racist. If we even thought for a moment that the President was referencing the place and not the people, then we honestly might indulge him a little bit. Truth is, we know the places we come from and some of them are not fit for human habitation. Some African governments have failed to dignify their citizens with decent living conditions while they continue with corruption & plunder of public resources – often in partnership with governments that then refer to the said countries as shitholes.

Sub-Saharan Africans are anything but a drag on the United States

There is therefore no need for another individual’s rant as condemnation of these remarks has been global & swift.Instead, I will use a well-researched, articulate article to give a snapshot of those Donald Trump so despises. Research shows that these immigrants are anything but what he describes and what many of his followers unfortunately think.

Published May 2017 the piece titled Sub-Saharan African Immigrants in the United States is written by Jie Zong and Jeanne Batalova for Migration Policy Institute. Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau (the most recent 2015 American Community Survey [ACS] as well as pooled 2011-15 ACS data), the Department of Homeland Security’s Yearbook of Immigration Statistics, and World Bank annual remittances data, this Spotlight provides information on the sub-Saharan African immigrant population in the United States, focusing on its size, geographic distribution, and socioeconomic characteristics.

Who?
Contemporary migration from sub-Saharan Africa to the United States, which is a relatively recent phenomenon, has risen steadily over the past several decades. The sub-Saharan African immigrant population roughly doubled every decade between 1980 and 2010, and increased by 29 percent over the following five years. In 2015, 1.7 million sub-Saharan Africans lived in the United States, accounting for a small but growing share (4 percent) of the 43.3 million immigrants in the United States. They also made up 83 percent of the 2.1 million immigrants from Africa, the remainder coming from North Africa. The current flow of sub-Saharan Africans consists of skilled professionals, individuals seeking reunification with relatives, and refugees from war-torn countries.

In 2015, 80 percent of sub-Saharan Africans came from Eastern and Western Africa, with Nigeria, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, and South Africa comprising the top sending countries. Together, these five countries accounted for more than 54 percent of all sub-Saharan Africans in the United States.

How?
Most sub-Saharan African immigrants who obtain lawful permanent residence in the United States (also known as receiving a green card) arrive as immediate relatives of U.S. citizens, as refugees, or through the Diversity Visa Lottery. Sub-Saharan Africans were more likely than immigrants overall to have entered since 2000. Approximately 65 percent arrived in 2000 or later, compared to 44 percent of all immigrants.

Education, Language, Insurance
Compared to the total foreign-born population, sub-Saharan Africans were among the best educated immigrants as a group and were less likely to be Limited English Proficient (LEP). Sub-Saharan Africans experienced a slightly higher poverty rate than immigrants overall, but lower uninsured rates.

Language Diversity and English Proficiency
Sub-Saharan immigrants were more likely to be proficient in English and speak English at home than the overall U.S. foreign-born population, largely because a majority came from countries where English is an official language. In 2015, 25 percent of sub-Saharan Africans spoke only English at home, versus 16 percent of all immigrants. Furthermore, 27 percent of these immigrants (ages 5 and over) reported limited English proficiency, compared to 49 percent of the overall foreign-born population.

Age, Education, and Employment
The sub-Saharan African population was slightly younger than the overall U.S. foreign-born population but older than the native born. In 2015, a higher share (83 percent) of sub-Saharan immigrants were of working age (18 to 64), compared to the overall foreign-born (80 percent) and U.S.-born (60 percent) populations.

Sub-Saharan immigrants have much higher educational attainment compared to the overall foreign- and native-born populations. In 2015, 39 percent of sub-Saharan Africans (ages 25 and over) had a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to 29 percent of the total foreign-born population and 31 percent of the U.S.-born population. Nigerians and South Africans were the most highly educated, with 57 percent holding at least a bachelor’s degree, followed by Kenyans (44 percent), Ghanaians (40 percent), Liberians (32 percent), and Ethiopians (29 percent). Meanwhile, Somalis had the lowest educational attainment of all sub-Saharan Africans, with 11 percent having graduated from a four-year college.

Sub-Saharan Africans participated in the labor force at a higher rate than the overall immigrant and U.S.-born populations. In 2015, about 75 percent of sub-Saharan immigrants (ages 16 and over) were in the civilian labor force, compared to 66 percent and 62 percent of the overall foreign- and native-born populations, respectively.

Compared to the total foreign-born population, sub-Saharan Africans were much more likely to be employed in management, business, science, and arts occupations (38 percent) and much less likely to be employed in natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations (3 percent; see Figure 5). The occupational distribution by origin group follows the pattern of educational attainment: South African (62 percent) and Nigerian (53 percent) immigrants were the most likely to be in management positions, while 37 percent of Somali immigrants worked in production, transportation, and material moving occupations.

Poverty
In 2015, sub-Saharan Africans were slightly more likely to live in poverty (19 percent) than all immigrants (17 percent) or the U.S. born (14 percent). Poverty rates were highest among Somalis (46 percent) and Liberians (22 percent).

 

Immigration Pathways and Naturalization
Compared to immigrants overall, sub-Saharan Africans had a slightly higher naturalization rate. Fifty-three percent were naturalized U.S. citizens, compared to 48 percent of all immigrants. Naturalization rates exceeded 50 percent for most sub-Saharan origin groups, with the exception of Kenyans (47 percent).

Health Coverage
In 2015, sub-Saharan Africans were more likely to be covered by private health insurance (60 percent) compared to the overall foreign-born population (55 percent). They were also less likely to be uninsured than immigrants overall (17 percent versus 22 percent). Among sub-Saharan origin groups, South Africans had the lowest uninsured share (8 percent) while Liberians had the highest rate (18 percent).

Distribution by State and Key Cities
Compared to the overall immigrant population, sub-Saharan Africans were more spread out geographically. As of 2011-15, the largest shares of sub-Saharan African immigrants settled in Texas (10 percent), New York (9 percent), and Maryland (9 percent). The top four counties by concentration of sub-Saharan Africans were Bronx County, NY; Montgomery County, MD; Harris County, TX; and Prince George’s County, MD. Together, these counties accounted for about 12 percent of the total sub-Saharan immigrant population in the United States.

Remittances
Remittances received by sub-Saharan African countries via formal channels have risen nearly ten-fold since 2000, reaching $35 billion in 2015, according to the World Bank. Global remittances account for about 3 percent of overall gross domestic product (GDP) in the region. Some economies in this region are more dependent on remittance than others: remittances accounted for 31 percent of GDP in Liberia, 22 percent in The Gambia, 18 percent in Lesotho, 14 percent in Senegal, and 12 percent in Cabo Verde, versus just 0.01 percent in Angola and 0.3 percent in South Africa.

I urge Americans to travel outside their country & continent. The US may still have some great people, institutions (universities and research hospitals), but Americans need to see the world and understand why nobody except you thinks you’re still the “greatest country on earth”.

Forward this to anyone who considers your country a shithole.

Sourced from immigrationpolicy.org

Esther “Essie” Wambui, Editor-in-Chief.

~Wakenya Cananda.

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