E.g., 12/18/2014
E.g., 12/18/2014

Select Diaspora Populations in the United States

Fact Sheets
July 2014

Select Diaspora Populations in the United States

Diaspora populations often perform essential functions in the economic and human capital development of their countries of origin, and can continue playing a strong role in shaping these countries long after they or their forebears departed. The Rockefeller Foundation and the Aspen Institute have launched the Rockefeller Foundation-Aspen Institute Diaspora Program (RAD), a joint venture to better understand diaspora members’ financial and human capital investments and to design an approach to foster further growth in these areas. The Migration Policy Institute has partnered with RAD to produce profiles of 15 diaspora communities in the United States, which is home to nearly 60 million first- or second-generation immigrants. 

These profiles address 15 different diaspora populations in the United States, gathering in one place key data and analysis on diasporas from Bangladesh, Colombia, El Salvador, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Haiti, India, Kenya, Mexico, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, and Vietnam. Each profile explores the demographic characteristics of first- and second-generation immigrants in a particular diaspora, their educational attainment, household income, employment patterns, geographic distribution, and remittance volume.

Five longer profiles, focusing on Colombia, Egypt, India, Kenya, and the Philippines, also detail historical immigration pathways and contemporary entry trends, poverty status, active diaspora organizations, and country-of-origin policies and institutions related to interaction with emigrants and their descendants abroad.

 

Diaspora Profiles

The Bangladeshi Diaspora in the United States
Roughly 270,000 Bangladeshi immigrants and their children live in the United States, a majority of whom have become U.S. citizens. The Bangladeshi diaspora population is better educated than the general U.S. population and has a higher household income level.

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The Salvadoran Diaspora in the United States
Approximately 2.1 million Salvadoran immigrants and their children reside in the United States. El Salvador is the largest source of immigration to the United States from Central America and Salvadorans make up the second largest unauthorized immigrant population in the United States. Among the 15 groups analyzed here, Salvadorans have the lowest levels of educational attainment besides Mexicans.

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The Ethiopian Diaspora in the United States
There are roughly 255,000 Ethiopian immigrants and their children living in the United States. While the Ethiopian diaspora population has similar educational attainment as the U.S. population overall and is more likely to be in the labor force, diaspora members' average household income is substantially lower. The United States is the top destination for Ethiopian emigrants and top source for remittances to Ethiopia.

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The Ghanaian Diaspora in the United States
Approximately 235,000 Ghanaian immigrants and their children reside in the United States. Ghanaian immigrants in the United States are nearly all working age, and are more likely to be in the U.S. labor force and about as likely to be employed as Americans overall; they also have similar educational attainment.

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The Haitian Diaspora in the United States
An estimated 915,000 Haitian immigrants and their children live in the United States. Relative to the U.S. population as a whole, the Haitian diaspora has lower incomes, employment rates, and is less educated, but there have been gains between generations.

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The Mexican Diaspora in the United States
Approximately 23.2 million Mexican immigrants and their children live in the United States, making Mexico by far the largest source of immigration to the United States. Mexican immigrants are the least likely of any group in the RAD analysis to have acquired U.S. citizenship and are arguably the most socioeconomically disadvantaged of the populations profiled.

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The Moroccan Diaspora in the United States
There are roughly 85,000 Moroccan immigrants and their children living in the United States. Most Moroccan immigrants are working age, and few among them are minors or senior citizens. Moroccan diaspora members who are in the labor force are about as likely as the general U.S. population overall to employed, and their educational attainment is similar.

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The Nigerian Diaspora in the United States
Approximately 380,000 Nigerian immigrants and their children  live in the United States. The Nigerian diaspora population is the best educated of the 15 groups analyzed here. Despite such educational advantages, households headed by a member of the Nigerian diaspora have only a slightly higher median annual income than the general U.S. population.

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The Pakistani Diaspora in the United States
About 455,000 Pakistani immigrants and their children live in the United States. Educational attainment levels are, on average, higher in the Pakistani diaspora population than in the general U.S population, as is their household income.

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The Vietnamese Diaspora in the United States
Vietnamese immigrants and their children comprise one of the largest diaspora populations in the United States, at 1.8 million individuals. A large proportion of the first generation arrived as refugees in the aftermath of the Vietnam War, and these origins have shaped the diaspora's experience in the United States.

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In-Depth Profiles

The Colombian Diaspora in the United States
Approximately 1.1 million Colombian immigrants and their children reside in the United States. The Colombian diaspora closely resembles the U.S. population in many respects, with very similar demographic and socioeconomic characteristics including age, educational attainment, household income, and employment in professional occupations.

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The Egyptian Diaspora in the United States
There are approximately 240,000 Egyptian immigrants and their children living in the United States. This population's high educational attainment and income inequality sets it apart from the U.S. general population. Despite the United States not being a top destination for Egyptian immigrants, the diaspora in the United States is Egypt's sixth-largest source of international remittances.

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The Indian Diaspora in the United States
An estimated 2.6 million Indian immigrants and their children live in the United States, and the India-born population is the third-largest immigrant population in the United States. The high levels of academic achievement and economic patterns set Indian diaspora members far above U.S. national averages and most other RAD populations profiled. ​

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The Kenyan Diaspora in the United States
There are about 105,000 Kenyan immigrants and their children residing in the United States, but about 10 percent of the Kenya-born population in the United States is of Somali rather than Kenyan national origin. The Kenyan diaspora population in the United States is well educated, economically successful, and has a labor force participation rate that far exceeds the national average.

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The Philippine Diaspora in the United States
Approximately 2.8 million Filipino immigrants and their children live in the United States, which is both the top destination country for Filipino emigrants and the top source of remittances, with the diaspora sending an estimated $10.6 billion to the Philippines in 2012. This diaspora has relatively high levels of educational attainment, and had the oldest median age of all the RAD populations profiled.

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Table of Contents 

Diaspora Profiles:

I. Detailed Demographic and Socioeconomic Characteristics

In-Depth Profiles:

I. Introduction

II. Size and Age Profile of the Egyptian Diaspora

III. Immigration Pathways and Trends

IV. Geographic Distribution

V. Socioeconomic Characteristics

VI. Diaspora Engagement

VII. Conclusion