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Mayor Bowser Releases Report on the State of Immigrants in the District

Tuesday, December 18, 2018
Report Provides Overview of How Bowser Administration Investments in Education, Jobs, Housing, and Healthcare Benefits Various Immigrant Communities Around the District

(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Bowser, in partnership with the Urban Institute, released the “State of Immigrants in the District of Columbia” report. With immigrants currently comprising 15 percent of DC’s population, this report provides key statistics that reveal not only how diverse our immigrant population is, but also insights into how immigrants are acclimating to DC in fundamental areas such as education, jobs, housing, and healthcare. Additionally, the report offers feedback on how communities take advantage of various Bowser Administration programs and policies to advance their quality-of-life within the District. Data from this report will further be used by the Bowser Administration to better understand the needs of the District’s immigrant neighbors, further improve relations, and provide more access to resources District Government offers.

“Whether you have been here for five generations or five minutes, we remain focused on working for all DC residents and that includes immigrants who now call the District home,” said Mayor Bowser. “This report tells us where we are making strides and where more work needs to be done, helping my Administration better understand the specialized needs of our various and vibrant immigrant communities and move them all forward on pathways to the middle class.”

The report examined leading statistics on immigrants specifically from Latin America, Asia and Pacific Islands, Africa, and the Caribbean, who collectively represent three-out-of-four immigrants living in the District. Highlights include:

  • 42 percent of African immigrants have at least a four-year college education.
  • 59 percent of Caribbean immigrants in DC own their homes.
  • Seniors age 65 and older represented a growing share of DC’s Caribbean immigrants, having risen from 15 percent to 25 percent.
  • 92 percent of Asian and Pacific Islander immigrants in DC have some form of health insurance.
  • English proficiency of AAPI immigrants in DC increased notably since 2000 with 73 percent saying that they spoke English very well or that they speak only English.
  • More Latino immigrants in DC ages 16 to 24 are staying in school, increasing almost 50 percent from 2000.
  • English proficiency among Latino immigrant in DC rose 12 percent from 2000.

In addition to providing key statistics, the report provides a window into the resources, strategies, and investments the Bowser Administration is utilizing to further engage and support our immigrant community. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Legal support including the Immigrant Justice Legal Service Grant Program.
  • Cultural events to raise awareness of the multicultural and diverse nature of immigrant populations in the District.
  • Education and workforce programs such as the Washington English Center.
  • Removing language barriers so that residents are able to access all services provided by District Government.

The Mayor’s Office of Community Affairs (MOCA) has dedicated offices positioned to serve immigrant communities. It is MOCA’s mission to improve the quality of life for residents of the District of Columbia by collaborating with neighborhood organizations and other city agencies to address community issues.

For the full report, please visit https://moca.dc.gov/page/state-immigrants-district-columbia.