Horn Africans in the United States

Horn Africans in the United States
Total population
Total: 291,596
300 (Djiboutian),[1] 18,917 (Eritrean),[1] 186,679 (Ethiopian),[2] 85,700 (Somali)[3]
Regions with significant populations
Washington D.C. · Los Angeles · San Diego · Sacramento · Seattle · San Francisco · Columbus · Minneapolis · Chicago · New York · Atlanta · Dallas
Afar · Amharic · Oromo · Somali · Tigrinya · Arabic · American English
Sunni Islam · Ethiopian Orthodox · Eritrean Orthodox · Jewish

Horn Africans in the United States are Americans with ancestry from the Horn of Africa. They include Djiboutian American, Eritrean American, Ethiopian American and Somali American individuals.

Djibouti American

The Djiboutian community in the United States is small, numbering less than 300 individuals.[1] Its constituents primarily hail from the Somali and Afar populations, Djibouti's two largest ethnic groups.[4] Djiboutian nationals of Somali ethnicity are typically aggregated with Somali Americans.

Eritrean American

Main article: Eritrean American
An Eritrean restaurant in San Francisco, California

Prior to 1991, when Eritrea obtained its independence, it was a part of Ethiopia. Overall, approximately 20,000 people from Ethiopia moved to the West to achieve higher education and conduct diplomatic missions from 1941 to 1974 under the Emperor Haile Selassie I's rule.[5] However, the net movement of permanent immigrants remained low during this period as most temporary immigrants ultimately returned to Ethiopia.[5] The majority of Eritrean immigrants arrived later in the 1990s, following the Eritrean–Ethiopian War.[6] According to the U.S. Census Bureau, approximately 18,917 people reported Eritrean ancestry in 2000.[1]

Eritrean Americans have established ethnic enclaves in various places around the country. Most Eritrean immigrants are concentrated in the Washington, D.C., and California areas. The community also has a notable presence in Seattle, Columbus, Minneapolis, Chicago, New York, Atlanta and Dallas. Fairfax Avenue in Los Angeles, California has come to be known as Little Ethiopia, owing to its many Ethiopian and Eritrean businesses and restaurants.

Ethiopian American

Main article: Ethiopian American
Ethiopian businesses along Fairfax Avenue in Little Ethiopia, Los Angeles

In 1980, the U.S. government passed a bill formally establishing criteria for admitting asylum seekers. Emigration from Ethiopia to the United States subsequently increased, prompted by political unrest during the Ethiopian Civil War. The majority of Ethiopian immigrants arrived later in the 1990s. Immigration to the United States from Ethiopia during this 1992-2002 period averaged around 5,000 individuals per year.[6] According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 137,012 Ethiopian immigrants lived in the United States as of 2008.[7]

Founded by Ethiopian publisher Liben Eabisa, Tadias Magazine is today the premier Ethiopian American news source based inside New York.

Somali American

Main article: Somali American
A Somali grocery store in Columbus, Ohio.

The first Somalis to arrive in the United States were sailors who came in the 1920s. They were followed by students pursuing higher studies in the 1960s and 1970s, and a few migrants thereafter. However, it was not until the 1990s when the Somali Civil War broke out that the majority of Somalis arrived in the United States. The Somali community in the United States is now among the largest Somali diaspora communities.[8] According to American Community Survey data, there are approximately 85,700 people with Somali ancestry in the United States as of 2010.[3]

The city of Minneapolis, Minnesota, now hosts hundreds of Somali-owned and operated businesses offering a variety of products, including leather shoes, jewelry and other fashion items, halal meat, and hawala or money transfer services. Community-based video rental stores likewise carry the latest Somali films and music.[9]


  1. 1 2 3 4 "Table 1. First, Second, and Total Responses to the Ancestry Question by Detailed Ancestry Code: 2000". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-05-05.
  2. 2009 American community Survey: Ancestry
  3. 1 2 "Survey: Nearly 1 in 3 U.S. Somalis live in Minnesota", Minnesota Public Radio, 14 December 2010.
  4. "Djibouti". The World Factbook. CIA. February 5, 2013. Retrieved February 26, 2013.
  5. 1 2 Terrazas, Aaron (June 2007). "Beyond Regional Circularity: The Emergence of an Ethiopian Diaspora". Migration Information Source. Migration Policy Institute. Retrieved 2 March 2013.
  6. 1 2 Powell, John (2009). Encyclopedia of North American Immigration. Infobase Publishing. p. 94. ISBN 143811012X.
  7. Aaron Terrazas, Tedla W. Giorgis. "Potential into Practice: The Ethiopian Diaspora Volunteer Program". Migration Policy Institute. Retrieved 25 November 2011.
  8. Diana Briton Putman, Mohamood Cabdi Noor (1993). The Somalis: Their History and Culture. Center for Applied Linguistics. p. 1.
  9. "Talking Point" by M. M. Afrah Minneapolis, Minnesota, August, 12. 2004.

External links

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