The Nigerian Diaspora

The Nigerian Diaspora

The Nigerian diaspora is one of the largest African immigrant populations in the world, but its actual size is very difficult to estimate. The advent of colonialism and the Trans-Atlantic slave trade caused significant population displacement in the region. Portions of the African populations of the Americas can trace its ancestry back to Nigeria, although the exact size of this is ambiguous and is notably distinct from the modern definition of the Nigerian diaspora. The modern Nigerian diaspora has major centres in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Italy.

Nigerian Americans are notably distinct from African Americans and encompass more recent immigrants from the country. While African Americans hailing originally from Nigeria have been present in the United States since the 17th Century, modern Nigerian immigration to the United States has occurred since the mid-20th Century. Nigeria’s declaration of independence was a major turning point in immigration to the United States, unburdening it from the rule of the British Empire and freeing up the country’s movement of people.

Many early Nigerian immigrants to the United States were students. Immigration rates remained fairly low until the outbreak of the Biafra War in 1967, a civil war between the Nigerian government and Biafra, a seccionist state embodying the nationalistic desires of the Igbo people. This conflict caused 100,000 military casualties and up to 2 million civilian deaths. Additionally, there was significant population displacement as many fled the country. The rampant instability caused large numbers of the upper and middle class, particularly medical and business professionals leave. This immigration continued after the civil war ended. The 1980’s saw military dictatorships assume power, with many more liberal-minded, wealthy Nigerians leave the country for opportunities overseas.

The Nigerian population of the United States is generally wealthy and well-educated, with education informing a major aspect in the immigration story. The population is dispersed throughout the country but its most significant centre is, by some distance, in the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area of Texas. The population is predominantly Igbo and were initially formed as refugees and emigres from the Biafra War. The community increased significantly during the 1980’s. The population is believed to be over 50,000 in the present day.

Rapper Chamillionaire is Nigerian American. Kevin Krejki, Flickr Creative Commons

Rapper Chamillionaire is Nigerian American from Texas. Kevin Krejki, Flickr Creative Commons

The main enclave in the Dallas city-centre adjacent to US Highway 75 is known for its wealth of Nigerian-owned businesses including restaurants and a market.

The British Nigerian population is large and long-standing, being traced back to the height of the slave trade. The population is clustered around industrial cities such as London and Liverpool. Prior to Nigeria’s independence, there were a large number of Nigerian students, mainly from the country’s upper class. As with the United States, large numbers migrated to the UK following the turmoil of the Biafra War, comprised of both skilled and unskilled workers. The 1980’s saw a major wave of Nigerian immigrants arrive in the United Kingdom following the fall of the petroleum boom, which left the country in dire economic straits. This coincided with a large number fleeing the oppressive measures of Sani Abacha’s military dictatorship. The population is overwhelmingly centred in London, with Peckham being the most significant enclave in the city. The population is predominantly Yoruba. The community is very well-assimilated, but there are a large number of Nigerian businesses, restaurants and places of worship that remain in the area, giving it a distinctly Nigerian personality. Other significant Nigerian communities include the North West and East of the country.

While the immeasurable impact of the transatlantic slave trade has made measuring the Nigerian diaspora a difficult endeavour, the modern-day diaspora is widespread and encompasses a variety of different social classes.

Main image: Rapper Wale, a famous Nigerian American.

The Nigerian Diaspora

Study Guides

Who Were The Vikings?

Often misconstrued in contemporary times as a culture of bloodthirsty yet noble savages, the Vikings’ historical legacy is in fact far more complex and important. A race originating from modern day…

What Caused World War I?

World War I, the Great War, the War to End all Wars, no matter what you call it, it was a game changer. Lasting from 1914 to 1918, this war…

Wellington Vs Napoleon

In 1814, it seemed that twenty five years of war in Europe was finally coming to an end with the surrender of the Emperor Napoleon and his banishment to the…

Volcanoes

Volcanoes have fascinated mankind for generations – their enormous beauty and destructive power revered in awe. They have been worshiped, immortalized in folklore and voraciously studied by geologist throughout the…

The Vietnamese Diaspora

The Vietnamese diaspora has a population of 4 million people, over half of whom live in the United States. Other countries with significant Vietnamese populations include Cambodia (600,000), France (350,000),…

The Turkish Diaspora

The Turkish diaspora is difficult to categorise due to there being so many disparate population groups as a result of the sheer territorial reach of the former Ottoman Empire. Thus,…

The Transatlantic Slave Trade

The Transatlantic Slave Trade (1501-1867), sold at least 12.5 million black Africans as slaves to work for white land-owners on the other side of the ocean. Of these 1.8 million…

The Thai Diaspora

The Thai diaspora is estimated to account for around 1.1 million people across the world. The most significant Thai populations around the world are based in the United States (247,000),…

The Story Of Chocolate

Our love affair with chocolate began at least 4,000 years ago in Mesoamerica, in present-day southern Mexico and Central America, where cacao grew wild. When the Olmecs unlocked the secret…

The Story Of Cheese

Cheese is one of the most ubiquitous foods in the world, ever-present across the world. Its many different variants reflect the cultural and culinary identity of each corresponding country. History…

The Sri Lankan Diaspora

The Sri Lankan diaspora is relatively large in comparison to the country’s overall population. 3 million Sri Lankans live overseas, with Western Europe, the Arab Gulf States and North America…

The Spanish Inquisition

One of the darker periods of Spanish history is the Spanish Inquisition, which entrenched Spain for over 350 years. Also known as The Tribunal of the Holy Office of the…

The Spanish Empire

Lasting nearly five centuries, The Spanish Empire was, at its peak during the 16th, 17th and 18th Centuries, the world’s most prominent global power, earning the nickname ‘The empire on…

The Scandinavian Diaspora

The Scandinavian diaspora encompasses the foreign populations of five different countries: Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Iceland. Despite the distinction between the countries, they bear a number of cultural and…

The Russian Diaspora

The Russian diaspora is one of the most considerable in the world. Due to the country’s former dominance of Eastern Europe and Central Asia, there are an exceptional number of…

The Puerto Rican Diaspora

The Puerto Rican diaspora is overwhelmingly centralised in the United States due to the former essentially being a part of the latter. Puerto Ricans comprise 10% of the United States’…

The Portuguese Diaspora

The Portuguese diaspora is very difficult to estimate in terms of size due to its extensive history. As one of the largest empires of the colonial period, Portugal’s territorial reach…

The Polish Diaspora

The Polish diaspora is widespread and has been notably oppressed for centuries by a number of different external forces. This has caused it to become dispersed throughout the world, with…

The Persian Diaspora

The Persian diaspora currently numbers at around 4.5 million people around the world. A significant portion of this population lives in the United States, numbering around 1.5 million (most of…

The Pakistani Diaspora

The Pakistani diaspora is one of the largest immigrant populations in the world, numbering around 9 million. The large majority are based in the Middle East, particularly in the Arab…

The Ottoman Empire

The Ottoman Empire occupies a special place in the collective consciousness of the West, at once a dark star on the eastern horizon, threatening the very existence of Western civilisation,…

The Nigerian Diaspora

The Nigerian diaspora is one of the largest African immigrant populations in the world, but its actual size is very difficult to estimate. The advent of colonialism and the Trans-Atlantic…

The Nazis & The Holocaust

Who Were The Nazis? The Nazis, abbreviated from the National Socialist Germany Worker’s Party, rose from the civil unrest in the interwar years in Germany. Spearheaded by Adolf Hitler for…

The Mongol Empire

One of the most imposing military and imperial forces in history, the Mongol Empire cemented itself as a power to be reckoned with over a very quick period of time.…

The Mexican Diaspora

Mexican immigration is one of the more contemporary and urgent strands of global mass movement. The Mexican diaspora population is overwhelmingly based in the United States due to geographical proximity.…

The Malaysian Diaspora

The Malaysian diaspora is a relatively small one, numbering around 1 million people, a small number considering its population of over 32 million. It is also generally confined to nearby…

The Lost World Of Joseph Banks

Sir Joseph Banks, naturalist, explorer, collector, patron and President of the Royal Society for more than 40 years was one of Australia’s founding fathers.  As a young botanist, he accompanied…

The Korean Diaspora

Overall, the Korean diaspora is comprised of around 7 million people. This includes Korean-born emigrants as well as the descendants of emigrants. This total includes people from all parts of…

The Journey of Spices

Spices conjure images of tempting culinary art, fascinating travels and bitter struggles for supremacy. Expressions like variety are the spice of life and sugar and spice and all that is…

The Jewish Diaspora

The history of the Jewish diaspora stretches back thousands of years. It remains a contentious and culturally significant issue. The Jewish Homeland of Israel remains a hotbed of political and…

The Japanese Diaspora

The Japanese diaspora has a very rich and unique history despite being a very recent phenomenon. Japan was notably one of the most isolated countries on the planet up until…

The Jamaican Diaspora

The Jamaican diaspora is a very large one in proportion to its overall population. The Caribbean island nation has a population of 4.4 million. Its diaspora population is over 2…

The Italian Diaspora

The Italian diaspora is one with a long and extensive history and provides one of the definitive immigration narratives in the world. It can be divided into three major stages.…

The Irish Diaspora

The Irish diaspora is one of the largest in the world. Ireland itself has a very small population of 4.8 million. More than double this number has emigrated from Ireland…

The Indian Diaspora

The Indian diaspora is the largest in the world, numbering 31.2 million. It is widely dispersed throughout the world, with sizeable populations across each continent. The United States is home…

The Greek Diaspora

The Greek diaspora, due to its sheer longevity, is one of the more difficult to categorise. It has existed since the days of antiquity and remains widespread in the present…

The German Diaspora

The German diaspora, like many European populations, is difficult to quantify and is best divided into two separate groups. Countries with large populations of German descent and large countries with…

The French Revolution

The French Revolution is one of the most important instances of political upheaval in history, marking France’s transition from Empire to Republic after centuries of monarchy. Lasting a period of…

The Filipino Diaspora

The Filipino diaspora is one of the largest and most spread-out in the world. Indeed,it is estimated to consist of over 10 million people, 10% of the country’s population. Countries…

The Ethiopian Diaspora

The Ethiopian diaspora, despite the long and extensive history of the country, is relatively small and confined to certain countries. With a total population of 107 million, less than 1…

The English Civil War

 One of the most important and violent periods in British history, the English Civil War was a series of closely related conflicts during the 17th Century, which saw the monarchy…

The Crusades

The Crusades were military campaigns endorsed by the Latin Roman Catholic Church during the High Middle Ages and Late Middle Ages. Pope Urban II declared the First Crusades with the…

The Chinese Diaspora

As the most populous country in the world, it is of little surprise that China has one of the largest diasporas on the planet. It is estimated that there are…

The Cambodian Diaspora

The Cambodian diaspora, as is the case with many other Southeast Asian countries, does not have a relatively long history. The Cambodian Civil War of the 1960’s and 1970’s was…

The British Diaspora

Given the supremacy of the British Empire for much of the Age of Discovery, the British diaspora is widely dispersed throughout the world. The United Kingdom retains some control of…

The Bangladeshi Diaspora

The Bangladeshi diaspora is one of the largest in the world, with a population of over 7.5 million people. It is fairly evenly distributed around the world, with no country…

The Armenian Diaspora

The Armenian diaspora has a long and extensive history stretching back nearly two millennia. Armenia has been a country which has long been contested by a number of larger powers…

The Arab Diaspora

The Arab diaspora is one of the most widespread immigrant populations around the world, as well as one of the trickiest to define. Unlike most diaspora populations, Arabs are not…

The Ancient Egyptians

One of the most spectacular and accomplished ancient civilizations the world has ever seen, the Ancient Egyptians were renowned for innovations in diverse fields such as architecture, mathematics, medicine, infrastructure and literature. As…

The American War Of Independence

British Rule [caption id="attachment_23753" align="alignright" width="300"] The Stamp Act Protest, 1765 by Granger[/caption] The brutal and bloody eight-year struggle between the British Empire and the newly-declared United States of America, which…

The American Civil War

A house divided against itself cannot stand.  I believe this government cannot endure  permanently half-slave and half-free. — Abraham Lincoln, 1858 What Was The American Civil War? A war fought…

Route 66

Route 66 is commonly known as few different names, from Will Rogers Highway, The Main Street of America to the Mother Road, each identifies the famous stretch of highway that…

Planet Of The Apes

The primate family, most closely related to humans, is in danger of becoming extinct. This is largely due to the activities of the nearly seven billion humans inhabiting the earth.…

Native Americans

Given their near-genocidal treatment at the hands of European colonialism, the current population of Native Americans in the United States remains staggeringly low at over 5 million, just over 1.6%…

Global Cities: Los Angeles

Few cities epitomise multiculturalism better than Los Angeles. The city is home to one of the most diverse array of immigrant populations in the world. From its Spanish roots, the…

Latin American Independence Movements

The political chaos in Spain predictably resonated throughout its empire, most significantly in Spanish America, which became a battleground for several independence movements during the early 19th Century, marking the…

Global Cities: Paris

As one of Europe’s most important major cities, Paris is known for its distinct cultural identity, something which makes it one of the most appealing cities for visitors. With centuries…

Global Cities: Melbourne

No Australian city better personifies the country’s multiculturalism than Melbourne, one of the most diverse melting pots on the planet. The city is one of the most ethnically and culturally…

Global Cities: New York

New York City is one of the most global metropolises on the planet, practically synonymous with the virtues of immigration. For centuries, the city has been an entry point for…

Global Cities: London

London is one of the most global cities on the planet, a real melting pot of different cultures, nationalities and religions. With many traces of the country’s former colonial reach…

Global Cities: Berlin

[caption id="attachment_35939" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Daniel Grothe, #Berlin, Flickr Creative Commons[/caption] While historically overlooked in favour of more glamorous and traditionally beautiful European cities, Berlin has undergone a renaissance of sorts…

Galleons, Pirates And Treasure

Christopher Columbus put the Americas on the map in 1492. Shortly after, this ignited over 250 years of treasure hunting and vicious competition with the English, French, Spanish, Dutch and Portuguese,…

Colonial Australia: The Gold Rush And...

The Gold Rush The Victorian gold rush was quite a significant part of Australia’s history, which began in 1851 when one of the earlier discoveries by Thomas Peters, a hut-keeper…

Chinatowns Of The World

Chinatowns are located all around the world, from the Americas to Europe as well as Africa, Australia and Asia. These areas are historically known as any ethnic enclave of expatriate…

A Short History Of The Moors

Granada – the word in Spanish means pomegranate – a fruit brought to Spain by Moslem tribes from North Africa in the 8th century. They were known as the Moors…

A Short History of The Inca Empire

The most widespread empire in the Americas prior to European conquest; although the Inca civilization was long-lived, the Empire itself thrived for a relatively short period of time of just…

A Short History Of Tea

Food Facts: Where: Began in China, now consumed throughout the world, most notably in Japan, England, America, Russia and India. Serving Suggestion: Green Tea - serve without milk and honey to sweeten. Black teas -…

A Short History Of Convict Australia

Who Were The Convicts? The late 18th century was a period of immense social and political change. France was reeling from revolution and America had just gained her independence. In…

A Global Guide To Coffee Tasting

Coffee primarily grows within a belt thirty degrees north and south of the equator, between the Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn. Within this belt, more than eighty countries…

A Brief History Of Japan

 The early periods of Japanese history can be divided into four distinct periods. Firstly, the Japanese Paleolithic Period, which lasted several millennia between 40,000 BC to 14,000 BC. Human presence…

A Short History Of Beer

Many anthropologists and archaeologists now believe that it was a taste for beer, not bread that started people farming barley around 9000 BC. Known as the agricultural revolution, it ended…

The Maya

Often considered to be the most sophisticated of the pre-Colombian American cultures, the Maya were well-known for innovative developments in written linguistics, architecture, mathematics and astronomy. Based in Central America,…

The Roman Empire

Arguably the most influential and significant ancient empire in existence, at its peak Ancient Rome encompassed nearly 20 per cent of the world’s population and 6.5 million square kilometres in…

Roman Britain

Introduction 55 BC marked a dramatic change in the history of the island of Britain. The island was inhabited at the time by a collection of Celtic tribes, loosely connected…

A Brief Introduction to the Industrial...

  This guide is split into three sections: 1. Causes 2. Events 3. Effects Background Although bears little in common with any other revolution due to its lack of political…

The History of the Silk Road

History Perhaps the most essential development in the cultural exchange between the Eastern and Western worlds, the Silk Road was a network of critical trade routes linking Europe and Asia.…

The Chinese Empire

The Chinese Empire China has a long and rich history stretching back several millennia, as far back as the 20th Century BC. The Chinese Empire does not refer to a…

The Chinese Revolution

Their activity, aimed at curtailing the power of local warlords was hampered by a brutal purge by the Nationalists, who purged them during the ‘White Terror’ of 1927. Despite this,…

The Russian Tsars

[caption id="attachment_25610" align="alignleft" width="239"] Artist: Viktor M. Vasnetsov (1848–1926)Title: Tsar Ivan The TerribleDate: 1897Medium: oil on canvasDimensions: 247 x 132 cmCurrent location: Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow[/caption] IVAN THE TERRIBLE was one of…

A Brief Introduction to The Russian...

CAUSES The Russian Revolution was arguably the most significant turning point in the region’s history. It saw centuries of repression under the autocratic rule of the Tsar finally end, and…

The Story of Beef

The tradition of eating beef has passed down generations to become an integral part for many of our regular diets. By providing precious protein, packed with fatty calories beef has…

Showing study guides -