The Census Bureau has a statistical profile on Haitians and Haitian-Americans living in the US. The data come from the American Community Survey which includes questions about ethnicity and nativity of respondents. The ACS essentially, asks the questions that are on the "long form" of the decennial Census; however, it surveys a small sample of people each year so that estimates on can be generated on a rolling basis instead of just every ten years. The ACS, which began just a few years ago, is a big boon to data users. Sample questionnaire here.
Some observations from or about this profile:
- About 785,000 people identified as Haitian or Haitian-American. NOTE: This is very likely an undercount as the surveys were from 2006 to 2008 and many people may not respond to questions about ancestry. Also, children of parents of differing ethnicities may only select one or the other.
- Of the 785,000, 306,000 were born in the US, and 479,000 were born outside the US.
- Of these 479,000 born outside the US, 222,000 are US citizens (i.e., have naturalized), and 257,000 are non US citizens.
- About 18 percent report that they speak only English at home and 38 percent speak English "less than well" (note: this is self reported, so caveat lector).
While the Haitian population is younger than the population as a whole (median age 29 compared to 38 for the entire nation), 70 percent are 18 years old or older. Roughly then, there are over 500,000 citizens of Haitian descent of which 350,000 are of voting age. Even if highly concentrated geographically, this is a substantial number for organizing to influence US policy towards Haiti, Haitian immigrants, and Haitian-American interests.
UPDATE (Feb. 8, 2010): I also checked another Census survey, the Current Population Survey (Nov. 2008), to see how many people said they were either born in Haiti or one parent or both were born in Haiti. Again, this data is self-reported and obviously misses some people. The numbers, however, are higher than the ACS sited above. Here's a quick snapshop (rounded):
- Native US citizen born in the US with one or more parents born in Haiti: 377,500
- Native US citizen born overseas with one or more parents born in Haiti: 9,800
- Naturalized US Citizen born in Haiti or with one or more parents born in Haiti: 254,700
- Non-US Citizen born in Haiti or with one or more parents born in Haiti: 243,500
- Total: 885,400