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Black people in Europe

Black people in Europe (sometimes referred to as Afro-Europeans,[1] although this term is also used to describe people of mixed European and African descent, especially in the former European colonies[2][3]) are black people who are residents or citizens of European countries. They include immigrants as well as European-born people of Black African descent.

A Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly report on immigration from sub-Saharan Africa gives the number of sub-Saharan African migrants in Europe as between 3.5 and 8 million, concentrated mainly in Belgium, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Germany and the United Kingdom.[4] The report also notes that these figures are likely to underestimate the African migrant population due to factors such as illegal migration.[4]



During the period of 2000-2005, an estimated 440,000 people per year emigrated from Africa, most of them to Europe.[5] Most of this migration is illegal, and the European Union Frontex agency's "Operation Hermes" is monitoring the Mediterranean between North Africa and Italy. Due to increased border controls along the Mediterranean, there has been a shift of preferred migration routes towards Greece.

The figure of 0.44 million African emigrants per year (corresponding to about 0.05% of the continent's total population), including many Black Africans, pales in comparison to the annual population growth of about 2.6%, indicating that only about 2% of Africa's population growth is compensated for by emigration.

During the 2000s, North Africa has been receiving large numbers of Black African migrants "in transit", predominantly from West Africa, who plan to enter Europe. An annual 22,000 illegal migrants took the route from either Tunisia or Libya to the island of Lampedusa in the 2000-2005 period. This figure has decreased in 2006, but it has increased greatly as a result of the 2011 Tunisian revolution and the 2011 Libyan civil war. In 2005, 10,000 West African migrants heading for Europe were stranded in the Mauritanian port of Nouadhibou, and 20,000 Black African migrants were waiting for an opportunity to cross to Europe in the Spanish enclaves in North Africa.[6]


Some of the larger populations of people of Black African ancestry living in Europe are:

Country Black Population Article Population centres Description
110,000 - 200,000 (Could be higher) Brussels, Antwerp, Charleroi, Namur Mostly from former colonies such as Congo and Rwanda, although immigrants from every African country are present in Belgium.
Unofficial estimates: 3.8 million[7] Afro-French Paris, Lyon, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Marseille, Nantes, Lille Chiefly from West and Central African nations, the Caribbean (particularly Guadeloupe, Martinique and Haiti), and French Guiana.
ca. 500,000 (2005)[8] Afro-Germans or Black Germans Hamburg, Berlin, Frankfurt, Cologne Ethnicity statistics are prohibited in Germany but the ISD (Initiative Schwarze Menschen in Deutschland / Initiative Black People in Germany) estimates a number of 500.000 Afro-Germans. The term Afro-Germans is used to refer to German citizens with Sub-Saharan or African-American heritage. It does not include Black people who reside in Germany without German citizenship.
44,318 (2006)[9] 65,078 (2011)[10] Black people in Ireland or Black Irish Dublin, Cork, Louth, Galway, Kildare Mainly nationals of Nigeria and South Africa
436,535 (2011)[11] African immigrants to Italy Rome, Milan, Palermo, Turin, Brescia, Lecco, Naples Mainly from Senegal, Nigeria, and Ghana. The black Caribbean mainly from Dominican Republic, Dominica, and Bahamas.
Afro-Dutch Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, Almere, Eindhoven Mainly from the former Dutch colony Suriname and the Netherlands Antilles, but also people from Cape Verde and other parts of Africa.
150,000 (2006)[12] Portuguese of Black African ancestry Lisbon, Porto, Faro Mostly from former Portuguese colonies in Africa, particularly Cape Verde, Angola, Guinea-Bissau and Brazilians that may be Black (see Afro-Brazilian).
37,289 (2010)[13] African immigrants to Switzerland Geneva, Binningen, Giswil, Varen, Vevey, Berne, Fribourg, Lausanne Mainly nationals of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cameroon and Angola. This figure does not include the second generation or undocumented migrants.
1,150,000 (2001)[14] Black British
(Black Caribbean, Black African, Other Black)
London, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield, Bristol, Liverpool, Nottingham The 2001 census recorded 1,148,730 Black British people (not including those of mixed ethnicity)

Notable individuals

Historical Europeans of partial Black African ancestry

A number of famous European historical figures were of partial Black African ancestry, including Alexander Pushkin, Alexandre Dumas, George Polgreen Bridgetower, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and John Archer.[15]


Some of the most famous Black people in Europe are footballers in various European leagues. Frank Rijkaard became the first black person to Coach a European country when he was manager of the Netherlands in 2000, and has since had a successful spell coaching in Spain. Recently Senegalese born Pape Diouf became chairman of Olympique de Marseille. Paul Ince became the first black British manager of a Premier League football team after being named manager of Blackburn Rovers, having been the first black player to captain England. The England national football team has a number of black players since Viv Anderson became the first black player to start a match for the national team in 1978.[16] The France national football team has also featured significant numbers of black players, including, Thierry Henry, Marcel Desailly, Patrick Vieira and Lilian Thuram, who have all earned over 100 caps.

Popular culture

Harry Roselmack became the first black prime-time news anchor on a mainstream TV channel in France in July 2006.[17][18] The first black prime-time newsreader in the UK was Trevor McDonald who was employed 37 years prior by the BBC in 1969.[19]

See also


Further reading

bg: - de:Schwarze in Europa es:Afro-Europeo fr:Afro-Europ ens nl:Afro-Europeanen pt:Afro-europeus

Source: Wikipedia | The above article is available under the GNU FDL. | Edit this article

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