By Mickens Mathieu, Ph.D. and Jean-Luc Pradel Mathurin Augustin, Ph.D.

Knowing the number of Haitian immigrants living in the United States can provide valuable information to policymakers, community leaders and those interested in the issue.

From our analysis, the figures provide precise ideas on theimmigrant population’s potential importance in relation to both Haiti and the U.S., as well as to other immigrant communities in America. The data make it possible to compare the relative importance of the United States among all destinations within reach of Haitian nationals who migrate. Further, these figuresmake it possible to predict the future evolution Haitians in the U.S.

A look at the data

The 2018 data from the American Community Survey identified about 718,000 Haitian immigrants residing on U.S. soil (Figure1). This represents about 6.5% of Haiti’s population, estimated at 11.1 million in 2018 by the World Population Prospect.

The U.S.-based Migration Policy Institute (MPI) found thatHaitian immigrants in the U.S. represent 45.3 % of all 1.5million Haitian nationals residing outside of Haiti.

All told, this data is a clear indication of the power of attraction the U.S. holds on the migration phenomenon in Haitian society.

Although Haitians are less than 2% of all 50.6 millionimmigrants, they make up the fourth largest immigrant community from the Caribbean, behind Cuba (1.3 million), the Dominican Republic (1.2 million) and Jamaica (733,000).

Figure 1 – Evolution of the Haitian immigrants’ population in the US between 1970 and 2018

The statistical evidence found in the previous figure indicate that Haitian immigrants were able to significantly increase their presence in the US between 1970 (29.700) and 2018 (718.111) with female presence generally higher than male. Informationfound in Table 1 show the period 1990-2000 as the one in which the United States received the largest volume of new arrivals from Haiti.
























36,15 7.   

Table 1: Volume of new immigrants from Haiti in the United States between 1970 and 2018

It must be said that contrary to observations from the total population’s growth, the frequency with which Haitian immigrants settle in the United States has decreased over time. In Figure 2, the data shows an average annual growth rate of Haitian immigrants in the United States that goes from 11.4% in 1970 to 2% in 2018. The decline seems closely related to the increasingly restrictive measures implemented by the US authorities against regular and irregular migration.

Figure 2 – Average annual rate of exponential growth (%) of Haitian immigrants in the US between 1970 and 2018

The administrative and legislative measures against terrorism and migration taken by the governments of the United States since the September 2001 attacks are the most notorious examples in relation to the previously stated result. These include the USA Patriot Act of 2001, the Border Protection, the Antiterrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act (or Sensenbrenner Bill) of 2005, and the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006. These measures led to the military reinforcement of the borders via land and sea, the use of high technology (such as E-Verify and use of drones) and the criminalization of irregular migration.

Dr. Mickens Mathieu, Ph.D. is currently a professor at the Faculty of Human Sciences of the State University of Haiti and a consultant for international agencies. Dr. Jean-Luc P. M. Augustin is a National Pingtung University of Science and Technology (NPUST) Ph.D. graduate.


Figure 1. Authors’ calculations based on data from the US Census (1970-2000) and the American Community Survey (5%) (2010 – 2018)
Table 1. Authors’ calculations based on data from the US Census (1970-2000) and the American Community Survey (5%) (2010 – 2018)
Figure 1. Authors’ calculations based on data from the US Census (1970-2000) and the American Community Survey (5%) (2010 – 2018)

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