TLC Africa
     

Statistics on West African Immigrants in the United States

 

These statistics were compiled by Ciata Victor, webmaster of TLC Africa website.

At the start of this project, my goal was to determine the number of Liberians living in the United States. As through as I tried to be, I soon realized that I would only be able to collect a subset of the information on Immigration, because until the 1980s, information on Liberians entering the US, was not separated into it's own category. Although some previous statistics were not available, the 2003 Yearbook of Immigration Statistics , provided valuable information on "The Number of Liberians in the United States". At best, this is only an estimate. Immigration is fluid and numbers regarding death, relocation outside the US and other similar types of statistics were not taken into consideration for this publication.

Immigration data was evaluated and compiled from the following categories

  1. Enforcement - to determine the number of Liberians deported
  2. Immigrants - to determine the number of Liberians with Green Cards
  3. Naturalizations - to determine the number of Liberians with US Citizenship
  4. Refugees/Asylums - to determine the number of Liberian Refugees and Asylum
  5. Temporary Admissions - to determine the number of Liberians on TPS / DED

United States Visa Classification

Nonimmigrant Visas - Temporary in their nature, nonimmigrant visas apply to those who want to enter the USA for a specific yet temporary purpose such as a visit, study or work.

Immigrant Visas - Those who successfully apply and are granted an immigrant visa are provided with permanent residency status and are issued a "Green Card"

Refugees - any person who is outside any country of such person's nationality or, in the case of a person having no nationality, is outside any country in which such person last habitually resided, and who is unable or unwilling to return to, and is unable or unwilling to avail himself or herself of the protection of, that country because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.

Asylum - may be granted to people who are already in the United States and are unable or unwilling to return to their home country because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.

Prior to 1980, the primary reasons for Liberians entering the US, were Business, Pleasure, Student and Exchange Visitation, with majority of them returning at the end of their stay. After the Coup on April 12, 1980, migration of Liberians started, and new classifications were added to their immigration status including Immigrant, Asylum and Refugee.

Liberians as a separate category did not show up in the US census until 1990, when 8,797 persons listed themselves as having at least one Liberian Ancestry. By 2000, the number had almost triple to 25,575. On the question of TPS, I could only find estimates, the current estimates for the number of Liberians on TPS in 2004, was between 15,000 - 20,000.

I was able to find some statistics on Liberian Settlement and Refugees in the UK. UNHCR, estimates that by the end of 2002, 250 Liberians had been admitted into the UK as Refugees. According to the UK Home Office, 3,015 Asylum Applications were received between 1990 and 2003 from Liberian nationals, and 2,770 decisions were made.

Applications Received between 1990 - 2003
Decision Made
Granted Asylum
EL, HP & DL Granted
Refused
Refused, Appealed, then allowed
Asylum Application Granted Protection between 1990 - 2003
3,015
2,770
80
950
1,735
125
1,155
  • EL - Exceptional Leave
  • HP - Humanitarian Protection
  • DL - Discretionary Leave

Between 1997 and 2003, 537 Liberians had been granted British Citizens.

Conclusion

The number included in this publication, does not include children of Liberian immigrants, non-immigrants and Refugees, born in the United States.

Although I showed the number of Liberians listed in the 1990 and 2000 US Census, those numbers were not included in the statistics total, because a portion of their numbers would have been counted on entry into the US, and the others considered US citizens, because they were born in the US.

Remember, this is only an estimate. Thanks for visiting TLC Africa, Website, and I hope you find our website informative and this statistic useful. For questions, comments and opinions, contact Ciata by email at toadoll@gis.net

 

West Africans Immigrants who Entered the US between 1989 and 2003 - This does not include numbers for nonimmigrants, refugees, asylees and adopted orphans

Table 2
1989
1990
1991
1992
1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
Liberia
1,175
2,004
1,292
999
1,050
1,762
1,929
2,206
2,216
Ivory Coast
98
184
347
259
250
268
289
432
430
Ghana
2,045
4,466
3,330
1,867
1,604
1,458
3,152
6,606
5,105
Guinea
45
67
84
104
102
97
152
220
158
Cameroon
187
380
452
236
292
305
506
803
898
Nigeria
5,213
8,843
7,912
4,551
4,448
3,950
6,818
10,221
7,038
Sierra Leone
939
1,290
951
693
690
698
919
1,918
1,884
Senegal
141
537
869
337
178
213
506
641
435
Mali
18
34
63
55
51
55
94
124
97
Burkina Faso
11
8
8
16
11
16
17
17
13
Gambia, The
71
170
159
93
76
93
153
207
176
Guinea-Bissau
9
8
14
8
D
-
D
D
24
Mauritania
9
D
9
D
9
10
22
26
51
Togo
29
30
33
45
41
52
83
157
222
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
Totals

 

Liberia
1,617
1,358
1,575
2,285
2,879
2,850
27,197
Ivory Coast
364
305
439
605
630
485
5,385
Ghana
4,458
3,714
4,344
4,031
4,256
4,416
54,852
Guinea
46
6
3
11
16
29
1,140
Cameroon
691
826
865
795
985
927
9,118
Nigeria
7,746
6,769
7,853
8,291
8,129
7,892
105,674
Sierra Leone
995
976
1,590
1,884
2,250
1,496
19,133
Senegal
373
370
555
665
530
522
6,872
Mali
83
72
109
120
106
125
1,206
Burkina Faso
14
17
48
68
64
60
388
Gambia, The
227
183
232
391
343
263
2,837
Guinea-Bissau
165
134
204
274
290
177
1,307
Mauritania
78
24
88
117
124
131
698
Togo
246
254
388
489
935
1,188
4,192
Total
239,999

Statistics on Liberians in the United States

Summary

Liberians who entered the United States between 1980 - 2003

Liberians Admitted into the US under various classifications Estimates of the number of Liberians in the US, using Immigration value for number of Refugees Estimates of the number of Liberians in the US, using UNHCR value for number of Refugees
Nonimmigrant Admitted
41,631
41,631
Immigrants Admitted
27,197
27,197
Visitor
14,000
14,000
Refugees Arrival in the US
16,904*
27,076*
Refugee-Status Applications Approved
981
981
Immigrants-Orphans Adopted by US Citizens
22
22
Deportable Aliens Located by Status at Entry *
102
102
Aliens Removed by Deportation
-420
-420
Total number
99,607
110,589

* UNHCR reports that by September 30, 2003, , 27,075 refugees had arrived in the United States, this is 11,251 more then the 16,904 number I tallied using numbers from the 2003, Immigration Year Book. If the number of refugees is adjusted to UNHCR number, the total number of Liberians in the US will be estimated at 110,589.

 
 
Year Nonimmigrant Admitted Immigrants Admitted Visitors Refugees Arrival in the US Refugee-Status Applications Approved Immigrants-Orphans Adopted by US Citizens Deportable Aliens Located by Status at Entry *
Aliens Removed by Deportation
Annual Totals
2003
2,743
2,850
2,957
981
22
 

-26

9,527
2002
4,029
2,879
559
     
-36
7,431
2001
2,928
2,285
3,429
     
-42
8,600
2000
4,322
1,575
2,620
   
71
-46
8,542
1999
2,196
1,358
2,495
   
-38
6,011
1998
2,537
1,617
1,494
   
-49
5,599
1997
2,216
231
   
-45
2,402
1996
992
2,206
46
   
-33
3,211
1995
1,701
1,929
52
   
-37
3,645
1994
2,183
1,762
610
   
-36
4,519
1993
1,000
1,050
1,000
961
   
31
-31
3,741
1992
999
1,000
637
   
2,636
1991
1,292
   
1,292
1990
5,000
2,004
4,000
3
   
11,007
1989
1,175
     
1,175
1985
6,000
4,000
     
10,000
1981
6,000
4,000
       
10,000
Totals
41,631
27,197
14,000
16,094
981
22
102

-419

99,607

* - Counted because they were allowed in and held or identified for deportation -

Other Interesting Statistics

Immigration, US Census and other Totals on Liberians in the US

Year Number of Liberians Naturalized Refugees and Asylees Granted Lawful Permanent Residence Status Liberiangranted Permanent Residence Liberians granted Asylum by USCIS Officiers Persons who reported at least one Liberian Ancestry Group in US Census Liberians on TPS / DED (This is not a cummulative total)
2003
918
353
20,000
2002
1,048
599
2001
782
760
15,000
2000
1,027
678
25,575
1999

848

669
10,000
1998
557
495
1997
719
478
1996
1,104
703
1995
745
614
1994
609
398
1993
453
1,766
240
1992
361
203
1991
356
53
9,000
1990
10
8,797
1946- 2003
7,489
9,527
9,255
6,153
20,000

Statistics on the Liberian Population in the UK

Data from the UK 2001 Census showed 1,577 Liberians living in the UK, 980 males, 687 Females. 520 Liberians were granted settlement in the UK between 1998 and 2002 and 537 were granted British Citizenship between 1997 and 2003.

Grants of British Citizenship to Liberians in the UK

Year Number of Grants
1997 7
1998 24
1999 24
2000 63
2001 110
2002 140
2003 170
Total 537

T

L

C

 

 

A

F

R

I

C

A

 

 

I

N

T

E

R

N

E

T

 

 

M

A

G

A

Z

I

N

E

 

 

 

 

Statistics on Liberian Refugees Worldwide

2003
2002
2000
1999
1998
1997
Guinea
110,000
90,000
100,000
160,000
240,000
400,000
Sierra Leone
60,000
3,000
7,000
10,000
15,000
15,000
Ivory Coast
50,000
90,000
130,000
125,000
200,000
320,000
Ghana
35,000
10,000
10,000
13,000
15,000
15,000
Nigeria
3,000
2,000
2,000
5,000
5,000
Other African Countries
2,000
USA & Europe
20,000
Repatriated to Liberia
2,000
40,000
80,000 - 100,000
240,000
10,000
 
 

 

Glossary

Asylum - is a form of protection that allows individuals who are in the United States to remain here, provided that they meet the definition of a refugee and are not barred from either applying for or being granted asylum, and eventually to adjust their status to lawful permanent resident.

DED - Like TPS, DED is a temporary protection from removal which is granted to aliens from a designated country. Unlike TPS, DED is designated by the Office of the President of the United States of America, as a constitutional power to conduct foreign relations. The Secretary of Homeland Security can designate a country for TPS, but the President is the one to designate DED for nationals of a particular country by Executive Order or Presidential Memorandum. DED was first used in 1990 and has been used a total of five times.

DL - Discretionary Leave

EL - Exceptional Leave

HP - Humanitarian Protection

Refugee - the United States considers persons for resettlement to the U.S. as refugees. Those admitted must be of special humanitarian concern and demonstrate that they were persecuted, or have a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group.

TPS - Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is a temporary immigration status granted to eligible nationals of designated countries (or parts thereof). In 1990, as part of the Immigration Act of 1990 (“IMMACT”), P.L. 101-649, Congress established a procedure by which the Attorney General may provide TPS to aliens in the United States who are temporarily unable to safely return to their home country because of ongoing armed conflict, the temporary effects of an environmental disaster, or other extraordinary and temporary conditions.

Liberia: TPS registration period August 25, 2004 to February 21, 2005

USCIS - U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), a component of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

 

References

Immigration Statistics Page - http://uscis.gov/graphics/shared/aboutus/statistics/

  • US Committee on Refugee website
  • Source of information for Liberians in the UK - The Information Centre about Asylum and Refugees in the UK - http://www.icar.org.uk/pdf/sign002.pdf
  • USCIS Yearbook
    • Source - http://uscis.gov/graphics/shared/aboutus/statistics/IMM03yrbk/IMMExcel/Table03D.xls
    • Source - http://uscis.gov/graphics/shared/aboutus/statistics/IMM03yrbk/IMMExcel/Table09D.xls
    • Source - http://uscis.gov/graphics/shared/aboutus/statistics/ENF03yrbk/ENFExcel/Table36D.xls
    • Source - http://uscis.gov/graphics/shared/aboutus/statistics/ENF03yrbk/ENFExcel/Table43D.xls
    • Source - http://uscis.gov/graphics/shared/aboutus/statistics/ENF03yrbk/ENFExcel/Table47D.xls
    • Source: http://uscis.gov/graphics/shared/aboutus/statistics/RA2003yrbk/RAExcel/Table18D.xls
    • Source: http://uscis.gov/graphics/shared/aboutus/statistics/RA2003yrbk/RAExcel/Table21D.xls
    • Source: http://uscis.gov/graphics/shared/aboutus/statistics/TEMP03yrbk/TEMPExcel/Table23D.xls