African diaspora in the Americas
Total population
Regions with significant populations
 United States46,936,733[1]
 Dominican Republic1,029,535[16]
 Puerto Rico1,000,000[17]
 Trinidad and Tobago452,536[21]
English, Portuguese, Spanish, French, Haitian Creole, Papiamento, Dutch
Christianity, Rastafari, Afro-American religions, Traditional African religions, Islam, others
Related ethnic groups
African diaspora, Maroons

The African diaspora in the Americas refers to the people born in the Americas with partial, predominant, or complete sub-Saharan African ancestry. Many are descendants of persons enslaved in Africa and transferred to the Americas by Europeans, then forced to work mostly in European-owned mines and plantations, between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries.


Main article: Atlantic slave trade

After the United States achieved independence, next came the independence of Haiti, a country populated almost entirely by people of African descent and the second American colony to win its independence from European colonial powers. After the process of independence, many countries have encouraged European immigration to America, thus reducing the proportion of black and mulatto population throughout the country: Brazil, the United States, and the Dominican Republic. Miscegenation and more flexible concepts of race have also reduced the overall population identifying as black in Latin America, whereas the one-drop rule in the United States has had the opposite effect.[29]

From 21 to 25 November 1995, the Continental Congress of Black Peoples of the Americas was held. Black people still face discrimination in most parts of the continent. According to David D.E. Ferrari, vice president of the World Bank for the Region of Latin America and the Caribbean, black people have lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, more frequent and more widespread diseases, higher rates of illiteracy and lower income than Americans of different ethnic origin. Women, also the subjects of gender discrimination, suffer worse living conditions.


In Brazil, with 6.9% of phenotypically Black population and 43.8% of pardo (mestizo), poverty is common. It is nevertheless important to note that the´Pardo category includes all mulattoes, zambos and the result of their intermixing with other groups, but it is majority of European descent, with most White Brazilians having at least one recent African and/or Native American ancestor and Pardos also being caboclos, descendants of Whites and Amerindians, or mestizos. There are more definitions of the differences and social disparity between blacks and "non-white or pardo" than whites in Brazil in the Black people article section.

According to various studies, the main genetic contribution to Brazilians is European (always above 65%, and an American study found it as high as 77%), and Pardos possess a higher degree of African descent when compared to the general White Brazilian and African-Brazilian populations (the previous mostly with some detectable non-white ancestor and the latter highly miscegenated) and exhibit a greater Amerindian contribution in areas such as the Amazon Basin and a stronger African contribution in the areas of historical slavery such as Southeastern Brazil and coastal Northeastern cities, nevertheless both are present in all regions, and that physical features did much correlate with detectable ancestry in many instances.[30][31][32][33][34][35]

On 4 November 2008, the first mulatto U.S. president, Barack Obama, won 52% of the vote. His father was an African man from Kenya and his mother a white woman from Kansas.[36]


African diaspora in the Americas by percentage of population
Country Percentage of population
 Haiti 95%
 Saint Kitts and Nevis 93%
 Jamaica 92%
 The Bahamas 90.6%
 Barbados 90%
Turks and Caicos Islands Turks and Caicos 90%
 Antigua and Barbuda 90%
 Dominica 87%
 Saint Lucia 85%
 Grenada 82%
 Martinique 80%
 Guadeloupe 77%
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Vincent and the Grenadines 66%
 French Guiana 66%
 Bermuda 55%
 Brazil 7%
 Suriname 37%
 Guyana 36%
 Cuba 35%
 Trinidad and Tobago 34.2%[37]
 Belize 31%
 Puerto Rico 16%
 Panama 14%
 United States 13.6%[1]
 Colombia 9.34%[38]
 Dominican Republic 10%[39]
 Ecuador 10%
 Nicaragua 9%
 Costa Rica 8%[40]
 Uruguay 4%[41]
 Canada 3.5%[13]
 Peru 9%[42]
 Venezuela 2.9%[43]
 Chile 2%
 Mexico 1.2%

Notable people of African descent in the Americas

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Related bibliography

See also


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