An estimated 1.55 million sub-Saharan African immigrants lived in the U.S in 2017, a 26% increase of about a 325,000 from 2010. Pew Research describes the typical sub-Saharan immigrant in the U.S. compared to Europe:
Sub-Saharan immigrants to the U.S. are more educated than those going to European countries. In the U.S., 69% of sub-Saharan immigrants ages 25 and older in 2015 said they had at least some college experience. In the same year, the share in the UK who reported some college experience was 49%, while it was lower still in France (30%), Portugal (27%) and Italy (10%). These immigrants in the U.S. are more likely to have some college education (69%) than the native American population (63%).
They are more likely to be working. In 2015, 92.9% of U.S.-based sub-Saharan immigrants said they had a paying job, compared with 84.9% in Portugal, 83.7% in France and 80.3% in Italy.
One seventh are undocumented. Pew Research Center estimated there were roughly 250,000unauthorized sub-Saharan immigrants living in the U.S. in 2015. This amounts to roughly one-in-seven sub-Saharan immigrants living in the country.
They have come as refugees, family members and diversity program green card holders. In the U.S., those fleeing conflict also make up a portion of the more than 400,000 sub-Saharan migrants who moved to the States between 2010 and 2016. According to data from U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. State Department, 110,000 individuals or 28% from sub-Saharan countries were resettled as refugees over this seven-year period. An additional 190,000 or 43% were granted lawful permanent residence by virtue of family ties; nearly 110,000 or 25% more entered the U.S. through the diversity visa program. (From Pew, here.)
In operation since 1995, the visa lottery seeks to diversify the U.S. immigrant population by granting visas to underrepresented nations. Citizens of countries with the most legal immigrant arrivals in recent years – such as Mexico, Canada, China and India – are not eligible to apply. Legal immigrants entering the U.S. on a diversity visa account for about 5% of the roughly 1 million people who are awarded green cards each year. (from Pew, here.)