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West Indian Population in United States

West Indian Americans are also known as English-speaking Caribbean* immigrants and they trace their ancestry to the Caribbean. Caribbean Americans which is a wider term are a multi-ethnic and multi-racial group that trace their ancestry further in time mostly to Africa, as well as Asia, the Indigenous peoples of the Americas, and Europe. The Caribbean is the source of the United States’ earliest and largest Black immigrant group and the primary source of growth of the Black population in the U.S. 

The largest Caribbean immigrant sources to the U.S. are Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, and Haiti. U.S. citizens from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands also migrate to the US proper (known as Stateside Puerto Ricans and Stateside Virgin Islands Americans, respectively).

As of Census 2020, The Population of West Indian Americans (except Hispanic groups) is 3,011,912 or 0.91% of the U.S Population.

*In this article, we will cover English Speaking Caribbean Nations, for Hispanic groups and countries such as Cuba, Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico, please refer to Hispanic Ancestry in the United States

West Indian by Country of Origin

The vast majority of non-Hispanic West Indian Americans are of Afro-Caribbean descent, with the remaining portion mainly multi-racial and Indo-Caribbean people, especially in the Guyanese, Trinidadian, and Surinamese communities, where people of Indo-Caribbean descent make up a significant portion of the population. The overwhelming majority of Jamaica, Haiti, the Bahamas, and the island nations in the Lesser Antilles are of African descent.

Over 66% of Caribbean immigrants were from Jamaica and Haiti, as of 2020. Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Belize, the Bahamas, Barbados, and Grenada, among others, also have significant immigrant populations within the United States. 

Let’s have a look at the West Indians (except Hispanic groups) by Nation of Origin

#West Indian (except Hispanic groups):Pop. 2020% of US Pop.
4Trinidadian and Tobagonian229,4390.07%
5British West Indian114,3700.03%
9Dutch West Indian33,5470.01%
10U.S. Virgin Islander23,0370.01%
12West Indian285,5240.09%
13Other West Indian7,3590.00%

Let’s look at the Hispanic and Latino Populations in the US from Caribbeans

The Hispanic populations of the Caribbean i.e. Puerto Rican, Dominican, and Cuban are culturally similar to the non-Hispanic West Indian community and share a common culture. The majority of Hispanic/Latino Caribbeans are of mixed-race ancestry, usually having a near-even mix of white Spanish, black West African, and native Caribbean Taino. African ancestry is slightly stronger among Dominican multiracials, while among Puerto Rican and Cuban multiracials European ancestry is slightly stronger.

#Hispanic Origin Nations in the CaribbeanPopulation 2020% of US Pop.
1Puerto Rican5,798,2871.75%
3Dominican 2,393,7180.72%

*Though physically part of South America, culturally Guyana is Caribbean rather than Latin American and it is considered part of the West Indies.

Top U.S. States by West Indian population

Florida had the largest number of resident West Indians (excluding Hispanic origin groups), followed by New York and New Jersey. Parts of Florida and New York, as well as numerous areas throughout the entire New England region, are the only areas where blacks of recent Caribbean origin outnumber blacks of multi-generational American origin.

Of the 2 groups who make up the majority of West Indian Americans of non-Hispanic origin, Haitians are more likely to move to an area with a large overall Caribbean population, while Jamaicans are more spread out and more likely to be found in cities with small Caribbean communities. Caribbean populations in Florida and New England are diverse but more Haitian-dominated, while Caribbean populations in the NYC-Philly-DC area are diverse but more Jamaican-dominated.

List of States by West Indian Population (except Hispanic groups)

# State Population % Of Total 
1 Florida 935,637 4.41%
2 New York 774,583 3.97%
3 New Jersey 173,084 1.95%
4 Massachusetts 137,952 2.01%
5 Georgia 136,578 1.30%
6 Maryland 92,029 1.52%
7 Connecticut 91,432 2.56%
8 California 91,257 0.23%
9 Pennsylvania 87,263 0.68%
10 Texas 82,997 0.29%
11 Virginia 48,453 0.57%
12 North Carolina 47,455 0.46%
13 Illinois 37,596 0.30%
14 Ohio 20,491 0.18%
15 South Carolina 18,246 0.36%
16 Michigan 17,205 0.17%
17 Oklahoma 17,159 0.43%
18 Tennessee 14,432 0.21%
19 Arizona 14,329 0.20%
20 Washington 14,011 0.19%
21 Delaware 12,043 1.24%
22 Alabama 11,663 0.24%
23 Louisiana 10,860 0.23%
24 District of Columbia 10,557 1.50%
25 Rhode Island 9,746 0.92%
26 Indiana 9,710 0.14%
27 Missouri 8,931 0.15%
28 Colorado 8,779 0.15%
29 Nevada 8,613 0.28%
30 Minnesota 8,482 0.15%
31 Wisconsin 6,215 0.11%
32 Kentucky 5,851 0.13%
33 Oregon 5,151 0.12%
34 Arkansas 4,766 0.16%
35 New Hampshire 4,332 0.32%
36 Puerto Rico 3,877 0.12%
37 Kansas 3,861 0.13%
38 Mississippi 3,239 0.11%
39 Iowa 2,818 0.09%
40 Maine 2,571 0.19%
41 Hawaii 2,460 0.17%
42 Utah 2,265 0.07%
43 Nebraska 2,208 0.11%
44 West Virginia 1,946 0.11%
45 New Mexico 1,747 0.08%
46 Alaska 1,467 0.20%
47 North Dakota 1,169 0.15%
48 Vermont 1,168 0.19%
49 Idaho 1,106 0.06%
50 South Dakota 816 0.09%
51 Montana 800 0.08%
52 Wyoming 506 0.09%
United States 3,011,912 0.91%

Top U.S Cities by West Indian population

The New York Metro area with 857,787 people of West Indian ancestry, has the largest population of Americans. It’s followed by Miami  (574,651) and the Atlanta metro area (130,242).

Miami, New York City, Boston, and Orlando have the highest percentages of non-Hispanic West Indian Americans and are also the only major cities where blacks of Caribbean origin outnumber those of multigenerational American origin. Areas in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Georgia do have significant and growing West Indian communities but are heavily overshadowed by much larger populations of native-born American Blacks.

Top Metro Areas by West Indian Population (except Hispanic groups):

#Metro AreaPopulation
1New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA 857,787
2Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL 574,651
3Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Alpharetta, GA 130,242
4Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH 113,152
5Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL 109,667
6Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV 92,231
7Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD 79,645
8Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL 62,185
9Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA 49,406
10Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT 41,054
11Hartford-East Hartford-Middletown, CT 37,715
12Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI 32,805
13Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX 32,067
14Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX 30,376
15Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD 24,873
16Jacksonville, FL 19,515
17Poughkeepsie-Newburgh-Middletown, NY 18,985
18Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC 17,449
19Providence-Warwick, RI-MA 17,189
20Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC 16,027

Source: US Census Estimates

West Indian Population in United States and Cities 2024