Young African Leaders1

Attendees at the Young African Leaders summit in Washington, D.C. (Photo: State Department )

The African-born population of the United States has doubled every decade since 1970, with many settling in the D.C.-Maryland-Virginia area, according to a recent report by the U.S. Census Bureau.

In 1970, there were approximately 80,100 African-born persons living in the U.S., representing less than 1 percent of the foreign-born population. By 1980, the population was around 199,700, more than doubling. That trend has more or less continued every decade since, and between 2008 and 2012, the African-born population of the United States reached 1.58 million, now 4 percent of the entire foreign-born U.S. population.

Many of these immigrants have come to settle in the DMV. Maryland was one of four states with over 100,000 African-born persons, with a total of 120,000. The other states were the far more populous New York, California and Texas.

Both Maryland and Virginia had a percentage of African-born persons among their foreign-born residents that was at least twice the national average, with Africans making up 15 and 9 percent of their foreign-born populations, respectively. Washington, D.C., is the metropolitan area with the second-highest number – 161,000 – of African-born persons, trailing only New York, with 212,000.

The Bureau released this data in a brief titled “The Foreign-Born Population From Africa: 2008-2012.”