Ethiopia Eritrea

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Immigration and Ethiopians

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Earlier to the 1973 coup, there were very few Ethiopians living in the United States and Europe. Out-migration initiated immediately after the coup.

During this time the out-migration started in the form of small group of 3-15 people to travel across the desert by night and hide by day.

And this was so dangerous and many died on the way. Migration to the United States and Europe began in 1980, with the greatest number of Ethiopians coming to the U.S. from 1983-1993. 

Estimates of the number of Ethiopians in North America range as high as 250,000 (Hodes, 1997) and this number looks like increasing faster ever after.

In 1985 and 1991, there were major airlifts of more than 55,000 Ethiopian Jews to Israel (Operations Moses and Solomon). Most of these were illiterate farmers from the northern part of the country.

When we take the current immigrants in to account, Ethiopians/Eritreans living in the West are most often from urban backgrounds, as opposed to previous immigration trends, and many came with or obtained college degrees in their host countries.

Most live in large urban areas on the East and West coasts as well as in Houston and Dallas. Most of the Ethiopians/Eritreans living in the West are male and young.

Keywords: Operations Moses, Operations Solomon, Immigration,