Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Revisiting Size of Ethiopian Population in the US

The decennial US census is currently underway and tomorrow, April 1st, is the National Census Day, meaning that this is the day when we are supposed to return our filled out census forms. So, it is fitting that we revisit the post on the size of the Ethiopian born US population at this time.

The 2000 U.S. Census had stated that the number of people in the US who were born in Ethiopia was 69,530. Of course, this figure does not include children born to Ethiopian parents in the US. I thought this figure seemed a bit low for Ethiopian population in the US at that time, but I thought it was closer to the true figure than the figures that most Ethiopians seem to bandy about. What will the 2010 census reveal when it is released in 2011? It is anybody's guess, but one can make an educated guess. Why not?

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security website, where the Citizenship and Immigration Seervice resides, gives a detailed information for Ethiopians who became US residents from 2003 to 2008. The total for Ethiopians who became US residents for this six year period is 67,305, which averages to 11,218 per year. If you extrapolate this average to the other years which are not mentioned (2001, 2002, 2009 and 2010) and assume that the same number of Ethiopians had gotten US residency in those years, then the total Ethiopian immigration for the past decade would be about 112,175.

If you add this figure to the above 2000 US Census Bureau figure, the total for Ethiopian born population in the US in 2010 would be 181,705. I know I have to take motality rate into account, but I will assume that Ethiopian mortality is very low compared with native born Americans and also that there are probably more Ethiopians in the US living illegally and not counted by the census than those who have passed away after immigrating to the US. So, there you have it: 181,705.

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