The African Immigrant & Refugee Community in Multnomah County: An Unsettling Profile

2014 CCC Profile - African Report.jpg
2014 CCC Profile - African Report.jpg

The African Immigrant & Refugee Community in Multnomah County: An Unsettling Profile

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Since 1975, African immigrants, refugees and secondary migrants have been relocating to Multnomah County and now represent the fourth largest immigrant community after Latino, Asian, and Slavic immigrants. The African community here is incredibly diverse in its make-up, with over 28 different African countries and numerous ethnic groups represented. Estimates from 2003 suggest that African immigrants make up 2% of the foreign-born population in the Portland Metro (tri-county) area. Nearly half (45%) of the tri-county area’s African foreign-born population is from eastern Africa, including Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Somalia, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.1 Other countries of origin include Sudan, Sierra Leone, Angola, Mali, Liberia, Togo, Chad, Nigeria, Rwanda, Mozambique, and Democratic Republic of Congo. In 2011 alone, the USA admitted around 15,000 African refugees.