Chinenye MsNgThe United States and the UK remain top destinations for African immigrants from anglophone countries like Nigeria and Ghana in West Africa while France remains number one destination for African immigrants from francophone countries like Algeria in the north and Côte d’Ivoire in West Africa. The reason is simple. It lowers the language barrier.

A Nigerian in America or England doesn’t have to learn English from scratch. English is the official language of Nigeria. Although the speaking may be a bit difficult for some fraction of the population, almost all who fall within the literacy rate of Nigeria can at least read and write English. A Ghanaian in France may have to learn French from scratch. Why? because just like Nigeria, english is the official language of Ghana not french.

A Nigerian student with a student visa can easily transition into an American school without much difficulty and the reason is because the language and curriculum of both countries parallel. Meanwhile, a Ghanaian student with a student visa to France may have to first take “French as a second language” class before he or she can transition. The same thing applies to finding a job. It would be harder for a french-speaking African to find a job in America than for an english-speaking African and this is quite obvious. Asking questions and filling forms all require english in America. So in some ways, this trend makes perfect sense.

On the other hand, some non-english speaking African migrants from countries like Egypt in North Africa, Somalia and Ethiopia in the Horn of Africa, and Guinea in West Africa are all making America their top destination for reasons not quite obvious. The push factors are quite obvious as we can all see. Most migrate with the hopes of finding greener pastures. The question however is; why would they choose America and not any other advanced country in the west? It comes down to personal choices. I personally love America and I think America is the best place away from home.

The question now is; how many African immigrants live in the United States? Although there seems to be no definite figure, about 4 million black immigrants live in the United States today, more than four times the number in 1980, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data. Black immigrants now account for 8.7% of the nation’s black population, nearly triple their share in 1980. Black immigrants are from many parts of the world, but half are from the Caribbean alone. Jamaica is the largest source country with about 682,000 black immigrants born there, accounting for 18% of the national total. Haiti follows with 586,000 black immigrants, making up 15% of the U.S. black immigrant population.

In the case of African-born Immigrants, Nigeria and Ethiopia top the list. Nigeria tops the list with about 235,000 people followed by Ethiopia with about 200,000 people. Egypt follows Ethiopia closely with about 190,000 people followed by Ghana with about 155,000 people. Kenya follows the list with about 125,000 people followed by South Africa with about 100,000 people. Liberia has about 90,000 people followed by Somalia with about 85,000 people. Others include: Morocco (about 70,000 people), Cameroon (about 52,000 people), Sierra Leone (about 42,000 people), Sudan (about 38,000 people), Eritrea (about 38,000 people), Cape Verde (about 36,000), Senegal (about 30,000 people), DR Congo (about 28,000 people), Uganda (about 27,000 people), Algeria (about 24,000 people), and many more.

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