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]


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, the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, 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.