|Regions with significant populations|
|Major concentrations in Indiana, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, and Texas.|
|Roman Catholicism and Protestantism|
Restrictions against immigration from Asia and Africa led to little voluntary immigration from Kenya until the latter half of the 20th century, Kenyan emigration in the United States noted a large increase, nearly doubling from the decades before.
The increase in migration in the United States from Kenyans was produced by several factors; political instability and a downturn in the economy in the 1980s in Kenya coupled with a high rate of unemployment (over 35 percent) led to a greater desire to immigrate. Some immigrants were also attracted to technology-oriented careers in the United States that boomed in availability in the 1990s and early 2000s.
The largest populations of Kenyans in the United States (U. S.) are found in North Carolina, two states with important health care and technological centers. Kenyan American come from ethnic groups such as the Kikuyu, Kalenjin or Luo people.
According to the 2010 census, approximately one-third of persons born in Kenya who are living in the U. S. have become naturalized citizens of the U. S. While many Kenyan Americans express the desire to eventually return to Kenya, the instability of Kenya's economy deters them. Those that remain in the U. S. do maintain contact with their Kenyan relatives and also make frequent trips to Kenya.
Education and Socioeconomics
African immigrants to the U.S. are among the most educated groups in the United States. Like their West African counterparts the Ghanaian Americans and Nigerian Americans. Kenyan Americans give a high value to education. This has allowed them to find skilled positions. In fact, even during the initial adjustment period, Kenyan Americans, usually do not require assistance than other immigrants, and they tend to have an overall high employment rate. Also, most Kenyans are already fluent in English, by what they have an even greater advantage over other immigrant groups. The most of Kenyans gravitate toward technology fields. There are also many Kenyan Americans that have the health care professions, especially nursing. Also there smaller numbers of Kenyan Americans as doctors, lawyers, college professors, and business owners and managers.
Like other immigrant groups living in the U.S., Kenyan Americans have created many organizations. Some them are the Kenya Diaspora Advisory Council, the Kenya American Association, the Kenyan-Cincinnati Association ("kcaweb", whose goal is to facilitate Kenyan integration in social and cultural scopes in the Tri-State metropolitan area and promoting awareness of the culture of Kenya in the United States), the Minnesota Kenyan International Development Association ("MKIDA", formed in 2003, to improve education and the economy of the Kenyan Americans) and KACA (Kenyan Americans Community Association).
Kenyan-American Chamber of Commerce (KACC, Inc.) was formed in 1999. KACC, Inc. is a private investment company to increase development of Kenyan communities with investments in technology, educational, and other sectors. This organization also drives trade and culture between Kenya and the United States.
Another notable Kenyan American organization is the American Kenyan Educational Corporation which focused on funding secondary school students and building schools in Kenya.
Famous Kenyan Americans
- Barack Obama, President of the United States of America of half Kenyan (Luo) descent, his father being born there.
- Lupita Nyong'o, Actress, won an Academy Award (Oscars) for her role as supporting actress in 12 Years a Slave.
- Edi Gathegi, actor known for his recurring character Dr. Jeffrey Cole (aka "Big Love") in the television series House, and as Laurent in the films Twilight and its sequel The Twilight Saga: New Moon (Kikuyu) descent.
- Bernard Lagat, athlete for Kenya now representing United States (of Nandi Kalenjin descent)
- Tom Morello, Rock musician (of Kikuyu, Irish, and Italian descent)
- Mwende Window Snyder, computer software engineer and a senior security project manager at Apple Inc.
- Isis Nyong'o, media and technology leader
- The Physics, a hip hop group in Seattle, Washington of Kenyan descent.
- BMJ Muriithi alias Voice of America and Nation Media Group.
- David Otunga, professional wrestler for WWE
- David Macharia, filmmaker, actor and public speaker from Dallas, Texas
- Tavia Nyong'o, Scholar and professor.
- Persons born in Kenya and Living in the United States, 2009-11 American Community Survey 3-Year Estimates, U.S. Census Bureau, S0201
- EveryCulture.com - Kenyan Americans