Sociology- West Indians in America - Guyanese Immigration in America

Michael Dawkins
Sociology- West Indians in America
Short Paper #1: Getting Background



                        Brooklyn is well known for several largely populated West Indian communities that include Flatbush, Crown Heights and Canarsie. Many of my friends who are West Indian (or have West Indian background) live in those neighborhoods. Some of my friends are Guyanese and I have noticed that there is a large Guyanese population in Brooklyn. I wondered where other Guyanese people might be located across the U.S., so I chose to research the numbers of Guyanese in Alaska, New Mexico, and Maine. Along with my findings, I will also state migration data from the migrationinformation.org site, about West Indians in the United States.
                        Let’s start off with some interesting facts about West Indian migration to gain a greater understanding of Guyanese migration. Caribbean born people accounted for about 10 percent (2,953,066) of the 31.1 million foreign born in the United States according to year 2000 Census data. The top five countries where the largest portion of Caribbean born came from are Cuba (872,715), Dominican Republic (687,675), Jamaica (553,825), Haiti (419,315), and Trinidad and Tobago (197,400), as stated for year 2000.
Women accounted for 53.8% of the Caribbean born; one could infer that many Caribbean women migrated to the U.S. by themselves to seek a better life in the states. From the 1990 to 2000, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Jamaica, and Haiti had the largest numbers of migration to the U.S. in the ten year period. Caribbean born people also made a conscious effort to become permanent residents of the U.S., according to fiscal year 2005, 108,469 Caribbean born persons became permanent residents.
                         In the U.S., over 83 percent Caribbean born resided in Florida, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts and California in 2000. Caribbean born people accounted for a large amount of the foreign born population in New York (26 percent), New Jersey (16.2 percent), and Florida (41.4 percent). As far as occupations, Caribbean people typically worked in service (24.4 percent) and sales (24.6 precent) jobs. After establishing themselves in the U.S., about 46 percent of Caribbean people own their own homes.

                        After analyzing the Caribbean migration data, I came across quite a few interesting figures on Guyanese peoples in the states that I previously mentioned. According to year 2000 census, Alaska had a Guyanese population of 24, New Mexico had 41 and Maine had 20. The total foreign born population in Alaska was 37,170, New Mexico 149,606, and Maine 36,691. Although there were very few numbers of Guyanese in those states, Guyanese peoples predominantly settled on the East Coast; 67.3% of Guyanese peoples live in New York, 8.4% in New Jersey, 7.9% in Florida, 2.9% in Maryland and 1.9% California. Prior to studying this data, I thought that mostly all Guyanese people resided in Brooklyn however I was surprised to learn that there were Guyanese people across the U.S., even in Alaska and Maine (who would think that were West Indians in Maine?). Overall I feel enlightened and informed from the data provided by the migrationinformation.org site. 

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