Mayor's Office on African Affairs

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Local Demographics


  • African immigrants make up 17 percent of the foreign born population of the District of Columbia.
  • The top countries of origin of African immigrants in the District of Columbia are Ethiopia (17%), Nigeria (12%), Ghana (10%), Cameroon (9%), Egypt (4%), Liberia (4%), Somalia (3%), Guinea (3%), Sudan (2%), and Eritrea (2%). 
  • The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that more than two-thirds of African immigrants in the Washington metro area arrived since 1990, more than one-third arrived just between 2000 and 2005, and less than 6 percent arrived before 1980.
  • For the 2010-2011 School Year, 45,631 students were enrolled in the District of Columbia Public School System (DCPS).  Enrollment data by country of birth indicate that thirty African countries are represented among DCPS students, making it one of the most linguistically and culturally diverse in the nation.
  • African countries represented in DCPS are: Algeria, Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Cote D’Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sudan (before split into two separate countries), Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
  • Thirty African languages-excluding French and Arabic are listed as spoken at home among African students. These languages include: Akan, Amharic, Bangolan, Basaa, Bwamu-Cwi, Criolo, Dinka, Ebira, Ga, Ibibio, Igbo, Kayibe, Klao, Kpelle, Krio, Mandigo, Oromo, Saho, Sango, Sangu, Shona, Somali, Susu, Swahili, Swati, Themne, Tigrigna, Wolof, Yeyi, and Yoruba.