Saturday, 2 September 2017

Nigerians are the single largest contemporary African immigrant group in the United States - INVESTIGATION

Latest information at our disposal has confirmed that Nigerians are the single largest contemporary African Immigrant group in the United States. Nigeria’s official current population is 168.8 million in different professions, resident in various states in America.

Nigerian-Americans are Americans who are of Nigerian ancestry. The term Nigerian American is sometimes shortened to “Naija-American”. Going by a 2006 American Community Survey, there were about 266,000 US residents claiming Nigerian heritage. Nigerian-Americans make up a significant part of African immigration to the United States.

Similar to their proportion of population on the continent of Africa, as earlier revealed Nigerians are the single largest contemporary African immigrant group in the United States. . The largest communities of ethnic Nigerians living outside the country are those of the United Kingdom and the United States. There are also significant numbers of Nigerians in Canada and Australia.

Modern Immigration:
According to this report, since the mid-20th century particularly, after Nigeria gained independence, many modern Nigerian immigrants have come to the United States to pursue educational opportunities in undergraduate and post-graduate institutions.

For instance, in the 1960s and 1970s after the Biafra War, Nigeria’s government funded scholarships for Nigerian students, and many of them were admitted to American universities. While this was happening, there were several military coups, interspersed with brief periods of civilian rule. The instability resulted in many Nigerian professionals emigrating, especially doctors, lawyers and academics, who found it difficult to return to Nigeria.

Almost all of these new immigrants have come from ethnic groups in the southern part of the country, primarily the Igbo, Yoruba, and Ibibio peoples, including Annang and Efik. Due to adverse economic and political conditions in Nigeria, some immigrants stayed in the United States and began to raise their children there.

During the mid- to late-1980s, a larger wave of Nigerians immigrated to the United States. This migration was driven by political and economic problems exacerbated by the military regimes of self-styled generals Ibrahim Babangida and Sani Abacha. The most noticeable exodus occurred among professional and middle-class Nigerians who, along with their children, took advantage of education and employment opportunities in the United States.

Since the advent of multi-party democracy in March 1999, the former Nigerian head-of-state Olusegun Obasanjo made numerous appeals, especially to young Nigerian professionals in the United States, to return to Nigeria to help in its rebuilding effort. Obasanjo’s efforts met with mixed results, as some potential migrants consider Nigeria’s socio-economic situation still unstable. Census data showed that almost 40% of Nigerian Americans hold bachelor’s degrees, 17% hold master’s degrees, and 4% hold doctorates, more than any other ethnic group in the nation.

Many cite a combination of factors that have contributed to the large number of educated Nigerians in America. Seeking chances for better job opportunities and economic stability has led many educated Nigerian professionals to migrate to America over the years. Similarly, the Diversity Lottery Program increased the number of Nigerians who were able to receive visas in America to study.

Finally, Nigerian culture has long emphasized education, placing value on pursuing education as a means to financial success and personal fulfillment. Famous Nigerian-Americans in education include Professor Jacob Olupona, a member of the faculty at Harvard College of Arts and Sciences as well as Harvard Divinity School. Migrating to the US from Nigeria more than 40 years ago, Professor Olupona has furthered the academic study of traditional African religions, such as the Yoruba traditional religion, and has been a vocal advocate for Nigerian Americans and education initiatives.

A disproportionate percentage of black students at elite universities are immigrants or children of immigrants. Nigerian immigrants have the highest education attainment level in the United States, surpassing every other ethnic group in the country, according to U.S Bureau Census data.

Harvard University, for example, has estimated that more than one-third of its black student body consists of recent immigrants or their children, or were of mixed-race parentage. Other top universities, including Yale, Princeton, Penn, Columbia, Duke and Berkeley, report a similar pattern. As a result, there is a question as to whether affirmative action programs adequately reach their original targets: African-Americans.

The top five U.S. institutions with the largest population of students of Nigerian descent (in no particular order) are Texas Southern University, University of Houston, University of Texas at Arlington, University of North Texas, and Houston Community College. In the 2015–2016 academic school year, 10,674 Nigerian immigrants studied in the U.S. which was the highest number in 30 years and the highest number from any African country.

Based on DNA studies, an estimated 80 percent of African-Americans (about 35 million) could have some Igbo or Hausa ancestry. Therefore, 60 percent of them, according to historian Douglas B. Chambers, could have at least one Igbo ancestor. The USA has the world’s third-largest Nigerian community, after the nation of Nigeria and the UK. Nigerian-Americans reside in nearly all 50 states but are concentrated in major metropolitan areas offering educational and economic opportunities. There are also notable Nigerian-American populations in the US territory of Puerto Rico.

Sizeable communities are concentrated in the following states and jurisdictions (in order of size):
1. Washington, D.C. and Maryland: The Baltimore–Washington metropolitan area has the third-largest Nigerian-American community, found primarily in Prince George’s County, Baltimore City, Baltimore County, and also in Howard and Montgomery counties, both part of the MSA.

2. New York: All boroughs of New York City, comprising the second-largest Nigerian-American community in the US; plus Nassau and Westchester counties

3. Texas: Harris (esp. the city of Houston), Fort Bend (southwest suburban Houston). Tarrant (Fort Worth) and Dallas counties, for the Dallas-Fort Worth MSA. Travis County, which includes the university city of Austin, is another center. Texas has the most Nigerian Americans of any US state.

4. Georgia: Cobb, Dekalb, Fulton, Gwinnett County, Georgia counties; the Atlanta metropolitan area is the 5th-largest Nigerian-American community in the United States.

5. New Jersey: Hudson, Essex, Bergen, Union and Middlesex counties, with a large proportion of Nigerians living in Newark. In recent years, many Nigerian Americans have left the state.

6. Illinois: Cook County (especially the city of Chicago)

7. California: san luis obispo county Los Angeles (city and county), where many Nigerians, along with Kenyan and Ethiopian American groups live in the Fairfax and Crenshaw districts of L.A. They have also settled in San Bernardino (primarily the city of San Bernardino), Orange, and San Diego counties in Southern California. In the central area, they are in Sacramento and Fresno counties. In the San Francisco Bay Area: they have settled in Solano, Alameda and Contra Costa counties. Many reside in West Oakland, along with other African and Yemeni immigrants.

8. Ohio: Hamilton and Montgomery counties, with Columbus being the sixth largest Nigerian-American community

9. Michigan: Metro Detroit (with significant numbers of Nigerian-Americans in Flint, and Lansing)

10. Virginia: Fairfax, Prince William and Loudoun counties; Northern Virginia has the fourth-largest Nigerian-American community

US states with the largest Nigerian populations:
According to the 2013 US census, there were 299,310 Nigerian Americans.
The top 10 US states with the largest Nigerian populations are:
Texas – 43,969
New York – 30,056
Georgia – 29,505
Maryland – 23,005
California – 20,358
New Jersey – 18,511
Illinois – 12,413
Florida – 7,220
Minnesota – 6,794
Virginia – 6,181

Nigerian-Americans Ethnic Groups & Organizations:
Igbo-Americans are people in the United States that maintain an identity of a varying level of Igbo ethnic group that now call the United States their chief place of residence (and may also have US citizenship). Many came to the US following effects of the Biafran War (1967–1970). The Igbos used to live in small clans during pre-colonial era.

Yoruba-American: The Yoruba Americans are Americans of Yoruba descent. The Yoruba people (Yoruba: Àwọ̀n ọ́mọ́ Yorùbá) are an ethnic group originating in southwestern Nigeria and southern Benin in West Africa.The first Yoruba people who arrived to the United States were imported as slaves from Nigeria and Benin during the Atlantic slave trade. This ethnicity of the slaves was one of the main origins of present-day Nigerians who arrived to the United States, along with the Igbos. In addition, native slaves of current Benin hailed from peoples such as Nago (Yoruba subgroup, although exported mainly by Spanish, when Louisiana was Spanish), Ewe, Fon and Gen. Many slaves imported to the modern United States from Benin were sold by the King of Dahomey in Whydah.

The native tongue of the Yoruba people is spoken principally in Nigeria and Benin, with communities in other parts of Africa, Europe and the Americas. A variety of the language, Lucumi, is the liturgical language of the Santería religion of the Caribbean.

Nigerian-American organizations in the US include Houston, Texas-based Nigerian Union Diaspora (NUD); Houston, Texas based Nigerian-American Multicultural Council, NAMC (; Washington, DC-based Nigerian-American Council or Nigerian-American Leadership Council; The Alliance of Nigerian Organizations in Atlanta, Georgia; National Council of Nigerian Muslim Organizations in USA; The Nigerian Association Utah; the Nigerian Ladies Association of Texas (NLAT); the Nigerian-American Multi Service Association, NAMSA (; First Nigeria Organisation and United Nigeria Association of Tulsa.

The Alliance of Nigerian Organizations in Georgia is an organization that tries to satisfy the interests of the community, and represents all Nigeria nonprofit associations in the state (such as Nigerian Women Association of Georgia – NWAG in tribal issues, ethnic, educational, social, political and economic. Through the ANOG, the Office of Nigerian Consulate in Atlanta reaches the Nigerian community associations.

The National Council of Nigerian Muslim Organizations is an organization that teaches Islam, study the elements of religion, favoring Muslim integration in the US, creating a Muslim American identity and promoting interpersonal relationships.

Nigerian Ladies Association of Texas (NLAT) is an apolitical, non-profit formed by Nigerian women that promote fellowship, community and family values. NLAT is looking for ways to improve the lives of its members and their families and contribute to improving the life and development of Nigeria and the United States of America.

The association teaches its members on individual rights (especially the rights of women, creating media to promote respect for these rights, to promote equality and peace between the sexes) and establishes job opportunities for Nigerians living in Texas, organizes and provides resources to women and children in Nigeria and the US, teaches Nigerian culture to the new generations, working with women’s groups in the US and drives programs to promote education and health services and the Nigerian American Multi Service Association (NAMSA) that provide services to community members.

Nigerian-American associations representing the interests of determinated groups are the Association of Nigerian Physicians in the Americas (ANPA) and Nigerian Nurses Association USA. NNAUSA is an organization for the Ngwa Diaspora in America.


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