Azerbaijani American

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Azerbaijan Azerbaijani Americans United States
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Total population
14,205[1] (Census 2000)
Regions with significant populations
New York City Metropolitan Area,[2][3][4]Greater Houston, San Francisco Bay area, Greater Los Angeles, New Jersey, Chicago Metropolitan Area, Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex and other.[5]
Languages
American English, Azerbaijani, Russian, Persian, Turkish

Azerbaijani Americans (Azerbaijani: Amerikalı azərbaycanlılar), or Azeri-Americans, are Americans of ethnic Azerbaijani background, or those who were born in Azerbaijan. Most Azerbaijani-Americans have immigrated to the United States from Azerbaijan, Iran,[6][7][8] Russia and Turkey.

History[edit]

The earliest identified immigrant from Azerbaijan to the United States was Merza Ali Akbar, resident of Baku who arrived at Ellis Island on the RMS Mauretania in June 1912.[9]

The first major wave of Azerbaijanis came to the U.S. in 1940s and 1950s, as many Azerbaijani émigrés and POWs left parts of Europe during and after World War II. Among those were also a number of expatriates, who fled to Turkey, Iran or parts of Europe upon the Soviet occupation of Azerbaijan in 1920, and in 1950s and 1960s, moved to the United States in pursuit of better economic opportunities. This wave of Azerbaijani immigrants settled mainly in New York City and its metropolitan area, which hosts the largest population of Azerbaijani-Americans, in Northern New Jersey and Massachusetts; and later in Florida, Texas, and California, especially in Los Angeles area. In 1957, a group of these Azerbaijani settlers in New Jersey founded the Azerbaijan Society of America, a first Azerbaijani-American community organization.[10][11] By 1980 there were around 200 families that identified themselves as Azerbaijani in the United States, with about 80% of them being endogamic.[10] In 1976, Houston and Baku established the first sister-city association between the cities in the U.S. and Azerbaijan. It was followed with a sister city between Honolulu, Hawaii and Baku in 1988,[12] Newark, New Jersey and Ganja (second largest city in Azerbaijan) in the early 2000s (decade), and Monterey, California and Lankaran in 2011.[13]

Year U.S. citizens
2001 946
2002 1,187
2003 886[14]
2004 793[15]
2005 904[16]
2006 997[17]
2007 606[18]
2008 834[19]
2009 1,005[20]
2010 1,233[21]

Demographics[edit]

According to the 2000 U.S. census, there were an estimated 14,205 Americans born in Azerbaijan,[1] out of which 5,530 were naturalized U.S. Citizens[1] and 5,553 identified themselves as Azerbaijani of either primary or secondary ancestry.[22] Census 2000 did not count Azerbaijani-Americans born in countries other than Azerbaijan.

According to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in 2001-2010, a total of 9,391 people from Azerbaijan were naturalized as U.S. citizens. The table here presents the distribution for each year between 2001 and 2010.

These statistics do not include the legal permanent residents (green card holders) who numbered 781 in 2010,[23] refugees, legal non-immigrant aliens (temporary visitors) who numbered 4,938 in 2009, as well as a very large number of ethnic Azerbaijanis born in other countries, such as Iran, Russia and Turkey. Thus, based only on Census 2000 and DHS data, the official estimate of the U.S. citizens born in Azerbaijan is approximately 14,944, and the number of U.S. residents born in Azerbaijan is approximately 24,377, minus the natural decline.

According to the U.S. Census 2000 data, the Azerbaijanis who immigrated from Azerbaijan have settled primarily in New York (12,540), New Jersey (4,357), Texas (3,178), California (2,743), and Minnesota (1,559).

Socio-political activity[edit]

The first mention of the nascent Azerbaijani-Americans in the U.S. political life appears in the 1990 issue of The Economist.[24] By the late 1990s, the Azerbaijani-Americans became more active in the American sociopolitical life, including the U.S. Congress,[25] mainly advocating Azerbaijani interests in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.[26] By 2002, the Azerbaijani-Americans became active enough to be mentioned in the speeches in the U.S. Congress.[27] In 2004, a group of Congressmen founded the Congressional Azerbaijan Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives.[28] By 2011, the Azerbaijani-Americans have been honored in several U.S. legislative bills and resolutions.[29]

Azerbaijani-themed parks, streets and monuments[edit]

The Azerbaijan Garden, a park, was dedicated on May 12, 2008, in Cleveland, Ohio. Khanlar Gasimov's sculpture "Hearth" stands at the center of the Garden. Made of polished stainless steel, the bowl-shaped sculpture allows viewers to see the reflection of the earth and sky in its exterior and interior curves.[30] The Azerbaijani Garden is part of the Cleveland Cultural Gardens, which was opened in 1916, along Doan Brook in Cleveland’s Rockefeller Park. The opening of the garden was celebrated by Congressman Dennis Kucinich.[31]

TV, radio, media and newspapers[edit]

  • GunAz TV (TV broadcast from Chicago via satellite and Internet, in Azerbaijani only)
  • Azerbaijani Radio Hour (Weekly at Sunday noon radio on WUST 1120AM in Baltimore and Washington DC and via Internet, iTunes and RSS feed in English)
  • Azerbaijan International (Los Angeles based quarterly magazine published since 1993, in English)
  • Azerbaijan Review (monthly newspaper published in New York since 2007, in Azerbaijani, Russian and English)
  • Caspian Crossroads (Washington D.C.-based quarterly journal published since 1996, in English)

Prominent Azerbaijani-Americans[edit]

See List of Azerbaijanian Americans

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ a b c "Table FBP-1. Profile of Selected Demographic and Social Characteristics". Census 2000 Special Tabulations (STP-159). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-09-07. 
  2. ^ "Yearbook of Immigration Statistics: 2012 Supplemental Table 2". U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Retrieved 2013-04-20. 
  3. ^ "Yearbook of Immigration Statistics: 2011 Supplemental Table 2". U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Retrieved 2013-04-20. 
  4. ^ "Yearbook of Immigration Statistics: 2010 Supplemental Table 2". U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Retrieved 2013-04-20. 
  5. ^ List of proclamations received from mayors and governors around U.S. by Azerbaijani-Americans
  6. ^ http://books.google.ru/books?id=OWMyFWAZLCwC&pg=PA102&redir_esc=y
  7. ^ http://www.migrationinformation.org/feature/display.cfm?ID=424
  8. ^ http://www.encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org/pages/650.html
  9. ^ Ellis Island Immigration Station (June 7, 1912). "Passenger Record: Merza Ali Akbar". The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc. Retrieved 2011-09-07. 
  10. ^ a b Thernstrom, Stephan; Orlov, Ann et al. (1980). Harvard Encyclopedia of American Ethnic Groups. Harvard University Press. p. 171. ISBN 0-674-37512-2. 
  11. ^ Pope, Hugh (2005). Sons of the conquerors: The rise of the Turkic world. Overlook Duckworth. p. 371. ISBN 978-1-58567-641-5. 
  12. ^ Honolulu, Hawaii and Baku - Sister Cities
  13. ^ City of Monterey, California and Lankaran, Azerbaijan establish Sister City relations
  14. ^ U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Naturalized U.S. citizens from Azerbaijan in 2003
  15. ^ U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Naturalized U.S. citizens from Azerbaijan in 2004
  16. ^ U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Naturalized U.S. citizens from Azerbaijan in 2005
  17. ^ U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Naturalized U.S. citizens from Azerbaijan in 2006
  18. ^ U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Naturalized U.S. citizens from Azerbaijan in 2007
  19. ^ U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Naturalized U.S. citizens from Azerbaijan in 2008
  20. ^ U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Naturalized U.S. citizens from Azerbaijan in 2009
  21. ^ U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Naturalized U.S. citizens from Azerbaijan in 2010
  22. ^ "Table 1. First, Second, and Total Responses to the Ancestry Question". Census 2000 PHC-T-43. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-09-07. 
  23. ^ U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Legal Permanent Residents from Azerbaijan in 2010
  24. ^ The Economist, Volume 314, Issues 7635-7648, p. 27: "One answer, impossible for the administration to state openly, is that while Azeri-Americans may be thin on the ground, Lithuanian-Americans are not, and know how to lobby Congress."
  25. ^ Cheney, Richard B. (1999). "Defending Liberty in a Global Economy". In Singleton, Solveig; Griswold, Daniel T. Economic casualties: how U.S. foreign policy undermines trade, growth, and liberty. Washington, D.C.: CATO Institute. p. 24. ISBN 978-1-882577-74-3. 
  26. ^ Perlmutter, Philip (1996). The dynamics of American ethnic, religious, and racial group life: an interdisciplinary overview. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 66. ISBN 978-0-275-95533-5. 
  27. ^ Foreign operations, export financing, and related programs appropriations for 2003: hearings before a subcommittee of the Committee on Appropriations, House of Representatives, One Hundred Seventh Congress, second session, Volume 4, U.S. G.P.O., 2002
  28. ^ Boren, Dan (May 26, 2011). "Honoring the Republic of Azerbaijan on its 93rd anniversary of "Republic Day": Statement by Hon. Dan Boren of Oklahoma". Congressional Record, Extension of Remarks. U.S. Government Printing Office. p. E973. 
  29. ^ JOINT RESOLUTION HONORING THE AZERBAIJAN COMMUNITY OF MAINE, SP0512, LR 2187, Item 1, First Regular Session - 125th Maine Legislature, May 28, 2011
  30. ^ Cleveland Cultural Gardens, accessed September 2011
  31. ^ IN HONOR OF THE AZERBAIJANI CULTURAL GARDEN, HON. DENNIS J. KUCINICH OF OHIO IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, Wednesday, May 7, 2008