Zimbabwean American

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Zimbabwean American
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Total population
8,771 (2012 American Community Survey)[1]
Regions with significant populations
American English

Zimbabwean Americans are Americans of Zimbabwean descent. There are Zimbabwean communities in California, Texas and other places.


The first great wave of immigration from Zimbabwe took place during and after the War of Independence of this country in 1970, a time when many white families in Zimbabwe had to emigrate due to political and economic conditions of their country. Although initially the Zimbabweans emigrated to South Africa, its neighbor and with the shared language and heritage, and Great Britain, a country to which Zimbabwe had belonged, subsequently they increasingly migrated to the United States and Australia, countries that, like the above, shared language and heritage. Still after of Zimbabwe independence, these immigrants considered themselves as Rhodesians. After arriving in the United States, the majority of Zimbabweans emigrated to southern regions, settling in regions with South African communities.

Already in the 1980s, came to the United States a second group of people from Zimbabwe, a fundamentally students group that mostly returned to their country after completing their studies. This emigration of students was increased in the 1990s, both of people of black and white skin. Due to their limited and extremely competitive university system, many Zimbabweans students emigrated to foreigner seeking educational opportunities especially in business and technology. Unlike the first Zimbabwean students that arrived to this country, many students in the 1990s decided to stay in the U.S. after completing their studies, given the negative economic situation in Zimbabwe and the job opportunities they could find in the United States. Thus, the majority of Zimbabweans who migrate to the United States are students and young professionals.[2]


There are various conflicting unofficial figures about the number of Zimbabweans in the U.S. The RAND Corporation estimated in 2000 that there were 100,000 in the state of New York alone.[3] In contrast, a 2008 estimate from the Association of Zimbabweans Based Abroad put the population of Zimbabweans in the whole U.S. at just 45,000.[4] They make up just a small part of the Zimbabwean diaspora compared to the larger communities in South Africa and the United Kingdom.[4] However, of Zimbabweans who have not yet emigrated but are considering it, a somewhat higher proportion state that the United States, rather than the United Kingdom, is their preferred destination; this may be due to harassment and discrimination which Zimbabweans have faced in the UK.[5]

There is a small community of Zimbabweans in Chicago, perhaps 80 to 100 people, consisting primarily of former students at area universities.[6] Other cities with Zimbabwean communities include Washington, D.C., New York City, Indianapolis, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, and Detroit.


There is an important organization in Indianapolis of Zimbabwean having annual celebrations of Independence Day (April 18) and other events, such as the first Annual Convention and Business Expo Zimbabwe in 2002. Due to the limited success of the Zimbabwean living in Chicago to create organizations (because their community is dispersed through the city), they have formed ties with the organization of Zimbabwe in Indianapolis.[2] Other Zimbabwean association is the Zimbabwe-United States of America Alumni. Association(ZUSAA).[7]

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