Pashtun Americans

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Pashtun Americans
Total population
>16,000 (2010 US Census)[1]
Regions with significant populations
New York City, San Francisco Bay Area, Virginia, Los Angeles
American English · Pashto
Dari and Urdu spoken as second/third languages
Related ethnic groups
Pashtun diaspora

Pashtun Americans (Pashto: د امريکا پښتانه‎) are Americans who are of ethnic Pashtun origin, hailing from Afghanistan and Pakistan.[2] Because of U.S. census racial classification, they can officially either be White Americans if from Afghanistan, or Asian Americans if from Pakistan.


US states with significant Pashtun populations, based on the 2000 Census.

In the United States, the Pashtuns are a sub-community within the wider Pakistani American and Afghan American communities. Areas with large populations include New York City, where there are over 12,000 Pashtuns,[3] as well as the San Francisco Bay Area, Virginia, Los Angeles, Georgia (U.S. state), Chicago Metropolitan Area, and Oregon. Fremont, California has the largest Afghan community in the United States.[4] According to the 2010 Census, 15,788 individuals identified Pashto as their first language spoken at home.[1]


A small number of Pashtun Americans have served in the United States Armed Forces, in varying roles in the War in Afghanistan. Lieutenant Colonel Asad A. Khan, a Pakistani-American marine, was a member of one of the first conventional units to enter Afghanistan.[5] Khan would return to Afghanistan in command of the 1st Battalion 6th Marines in 2004; only to be later relieved of command.[6] Pfc. Usman Khattak, an ethnic Pashtun from northwest Pakistan, is a US Army Food Specialist with the 539th Transportation Division and is based at the US Army camp in Kuwait.[7]


The Voice of America has a Pashto language service.[8]


The Pakhtoon American Community Association (PACA) is a cultural association based in Maryland, which organizes an annual Pashto Conference, in addition to other events.[9][10] The Khyber Society, founded in 1986 in New York, also arranges cultural events.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "US Census 2010 (see row# 89)". U.S. Census Bureau. Table 1. Detailed Languages Spoken at Home and Ability to Speak English for the Population 5 Years and Over for the United States: 2006-2008
  2. ^ Siddique, Abubakar (2014). The Pashtun Question: The Unresolved Key to the Future of Pakistan and Afghanistan. Oxford University Press. p. 12.
  3. ^ a b Zaheer, Mohsin (6 January 2011). "'I Am a Khan, I Am Not a Terrorist' Say Pashtuns in New York". Feet in 2 Worlds. Retrieved 24 August 2015.
  4. ^ Robson, Barbara; Lipson, Juliene (2002). "The Afghans: Their History and Culture" (PDF). Center for Applied Linguistics.
  5. ^ Tempest, Rone (25 May 2002). "U.S. Heroes Whose Skills Spoke Volumes". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 20 November 2014.
  6. ^ Lowrey, Colonel Nathan S. (2011). U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 2001-2002: From the Sea (PDF). Washington, D.C.: History Division, United States Marine Corps. pp. 299–300. ISBN 978-0-16-089557-9. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-11-29.
  7. ^ Roesch, Kelli (13 May 2009). "Pakistani-American Soldier Compelled to Serve in U.S. Army". DVIDS. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
  8. ^ "Homepage". Pashto VoA. Retrieved 24 August 2015.
  9. ^ "Homepage". Pakhtoon American Community Association. Retrieved 24 August 2015.
  10. ^ Sherazi, Zahir Shah (3 September 2013). "Portraying the true face of Pashtuns to the world". Dawn. Retrieved 24 August 2015.