Haitian Immigration

Fact Sheet on Haitian Immigrants in the United States

WASHINGTON (January 25) – Since the terrible tragedy in Haiti, many have sought information about the Haitian community in the United States. Below are some basic socio-demographic statistics:

  • The last Census Bureau data (2008) indicates there are 546,000 Haitian immigrants in the United States. That is up from 408,000 in 2000 and 218,000 in 1990.1
  • Of the 546,000 foreign-born Haitians in the United States, 48 percent are naturalized U.S. citizens; this compares to 43 percent for the overall foreign-born population.2
  • The top states of Haitian immigrant settlement are Florida (251,963; 46%), New York (135,836; 25%) New Jersey (43,316; 8%), Massachusetts (36,779; 7%), Georgia (13,287; 2%), and Maryland (11,266; 2%).3
  • Our best estimate is that there are 75,000 to 125,000 illegal Haitian immigrants in the country. In 2000, the INS estimated there were 76,000 illegal Haitian immigrants.4
  • When it extended Temporary Protected Status to Haitians, the Department of Homeland Security estimated 100,000 to 200,000 people could be eligible. While most are illegal immigrants, this estimate also includes those on temporary visas such as tourists, foreign students, and guest workers who will not have to go home.5
  • Between 2000 and 2008, 183,188 Haitians were given green cards (permanent residence). These figures do not include those who entered on a long-term, temporary basis such as guest workers and foreign students nor does it include short term visitors like tourists. Of those given permanent residence, 135,913 (74 percent) were admitted under family-based immigration.6
  • There are 310,000 U.S.-born Americans who have at least one parent born in Haiti.7
  • Of Haitian immigrants (ages 25 to 65) 22 percent have not graduated from high school and 18 percent have a college degree. This compares to 9 percent and 30 percent, respectively, for native-born Americans.8
  • The share of Haitian immigrants and their young children (under 18) living in poverty is 20 percent. For native-born Americans and their young children it is 11.6 percent.9
  • The share of Haitian immigrants and their young children who lack health insurance is 29.5 percent. For native-born Americans and their children it is 12.6 percent.10
  • Of households headed by Haitian immigrants 46 percent use at least one major welfare program. For households headed by native-born Americans it is 20 percent.11
  • The share of Haitian immigrants who own their own home is 49 percent. For native-born Americans it is 69 percent.12

For more information on the subject, please visit our Haitian Immigration overview page.


End Notes

1 Figure for 1990 and 2000 come from the public use file of the 1990 and 2000 Census. See

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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