Kurdish immigration in the United States began in the twentieth century. The Kurdish who immigrated to the United States, came to this country after World War I, with several waves of migration from Kurdistan to the United States. Following WWI, the Iraqi Revolution increased the emigration of Kurds to the United States (as well as Iran). Yet another group of Kurdish refugees arrived in Nashville in 1976. The following year, many Kurds from Iraq emigrated to the U.S., although the majority of the second wave of Kurds in 1979 came from Kurdistan and Iran. These Kurds emigrated because they rejected the theocratic system that followed the Iranian revolution, which had endeavored to overthrow the Shah and replace his government with an Islamic republic. The third wave arrived between 1991 and 1992, and is considered to be the largest of the four waves. This migration was due to Kurdish support for Iran in the Iran-Iraq War, because Saddam Hussein had retaliated by attacking them with chemical weapons and later invading Kurdistan. Thousands of Kurds moved to the U.S. during this time. The last wave of Kurdish migration to the United States or at least to Nashville, with the largest concentration of Kurdish communities in this country, was Between 1996 and 1997, following a major civil war between Iraqi Kurdistan's two major political parties, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), in which the former Saddam's army entered the region to counter his support from Iran. The Iraqi army began targeting hundreds of individuals accused of working against Saddam's regime. The International Organization for Migration initiated an evacuation. Kurdish refugees crossed the Turkish border, after which they were evacuated to Guam – a military outpost in the Western Pacific – and later resettled in the U.S. Many Kurdish are immigrants and political refugees from the countries of Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey.
The total Kurdish population in the United States according to the 2000 census was 9,423. The city of Nashville, Tennessee has the United States' largest population of Kurdish people. Based on the 2000 census, the Kurdish population in Tennessee is 2,405  and in the city of Nashville the Kurdish population is 1,770 based on the 2000 census.Nashville is also known as 'Little Kurdistan', the latest estimates suggest that more than 11,000 Kurds are living in Nashville. Though most Kurdish people follow Sunni Islam, there are also minorities of Shia Muslims, Jews, Christians, Alevis, Yezidis, Yarsans, Zoroastrians, Babis and followers of different Sufi and Mystic orders, some of which have formed their own subcommunities in the United States.