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Expert: Reported Haitian immigrant population drop likely result of Census fear


NEW YORK – After a decade of decline in immigrants born in Haiti, the city saw an influx of refugees from the country in 2021, according to an annual report by the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA). However, an expert said, the reported decline may reflect a lack of Haitian participation in the Census used in the city’s report.

Between 2010 and 2020, the number of Haiti-born residents declined by 17% to 78,250 people according to the 2021 MOIA report, citing 2020 American Community Survey data. Haitians are the ninth-largest foreign-born population in the city, according to the report, and Haitian Creole is the fifth-most commonly spoken language among the foreign born. 

Georges Fouron, a social sciences professor at SUNY Stony Brook, said the reported Haitian immigrants decline may reflect a lack of participation in the Census due to fear rather than the actual numbers.

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