How Nigerian immigration is growing fast

Nigeria is quickly growing its immigration flow into the U.S. This is particularly notable when compared to trends in Chinese and Indian immigration.

Nigeria is the 7th largest country by population. Its population growth rate is 2.55% whereas the six larger countries’ growth rate is mostly under 1%. Nigerian immigrants to the U.S. are the highest educated among source countries. Compared to China and India, its immigrant flow into the U.S. is low.

Here, here and here are some prior posts on Nigerian immigrants.

At 206 million population, Nigeria is one seventh the size of either China or India (1.4B). As a percentage of its population, Nigerian family immigration in 2019 was higher than that of China and India ((73 per mill pop vs 43 and 36 respectively). Employment based immigration is comparative much less (8 per mill vs 12 and 12 respectively).

Employment based immigration from India and China are effectively capped by the rule that no more than 7% of all immigration subject to strict number limitation can come from one country. (To see the wait times for immigrants from these countries, go here and here.)

Nigerian immigration is well under the cap. This allows immigration from Nigeria to rapidly increase. For example, between 2010 and 2019, employment-based immigration from Nigeria tripled from practically zero whereas employment-based immigration from China and India each remained at about 11% of total employment-based immigration. Employment immigration from Nigeria may continue to be relatively weak unless the information technology workforce grows a lot in Nigeria. (For 2010, go here.)

Family based immigration from Nigeria in 2019 was twice the rate (nbr vs population) of China and India) and the number increased by 50% from 2010 vs flat for China and India.

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