Local Activities I

Analysis of the situation: United States

In the frame of Local Activ­i­ties I, each project organ­i­sa­tion had to analyse the sit­u­a­tion of young migrants and urban art in its coun­try. Here you have a sum­ma­ry of the text writ­ten by KBL Foun­da­tion con­cern­ing the sit­u­a­tion of the Unit­ed States of Amer­i­ca.


Unit­ed States is by far con­sid­ered a host­ing migrant coun­try. More than 1 mil­lion immi­grants migrate to the Unit­ed States every year. Pri­or to 2009 Latin Amer­i­can had a high­er pop­u­la­tion of immi­grants migrat­ing to the Unit­ed States, how­ev­er now are more Asian immi­grants arriv­ing to the coun­try. Accord­ing to the Pew Research Cen­ter, Cal­i­for­nia had the largest immi­grant pop­u­la­tion in 2018, which con­sist­ed of 10.6 mil­lion immi­grants, while Texas, Flori­da and New York also had more than 4 mil­lion immi­grants each state. There are cur­rent­ly more than 23 mil­lion female immi­grants in the Unit­ed States, which out­num­bers the male pop­u­la­tion of immi­grants in the Unit­ed States. Over half of the female immi­grants have become nat­u­ral­ized cit­i­zens and near­ly one third aged 25 or hold­er achieved an edu­ca­tion com­pa­ra­ble to Bachelor’s degree and high­er. Approx­i­mate­ly half of immi­grants in the Unit­ed States in 2018 were pro­fi­cient in the Eng­lish lan­guage. Span­ish was the most spo­ken lan­guage of the immi­gra­tion population.

Some of the main rea­sons why peo­ple immi­grate to the Unit­ed States are for job rea­sons and to escape per­se­cu­tion from their own coun­tries. Indeed, about three mil­lion refugee immi­grants have reset­tled in the Unit­ed States since 1980, which was the start of the Fed­er­al Refugee Reset­tle­ment Pro­gram. For the year 2019 alone, over 30,000 immi­grants migrat­ed to the Unit­ed States, with the largest group of immi­grants com­ing from Demo­c­ra­t­ic Repub­lic of Con­go, fol­lowed by Bur­ma, Ukraine, Eritrea, Syr­ia, Iraq, Sudan, El Sal­vador, Colom­bia and Afghanistan. Many young migrants came to the Unit­ed States for dif­fer­ent rea­sons, rang­ing from obtain­ing a high­er edu­ca­tion, find­ing word and/or get­ting mar­ried. Oth­er rea­sons are escap­ing pover­ty, vio­lence, con­flict and envi­ron­men­tal change. Youth migrant pop­u­la­tion in the Unit­ed States is high­er from devel­op­ing coun­tries than non-devel­op­ing coun­tries. There are many obsta­cles and chal­lenges the youth migrat­ing to the Unit­ed States face, espe­cial­ly the female, which includes dis­crim­i­na­tion based on gen­der, migra­tion sta­tus, eth­nic­i­ty or reli­gion, poor work­ing con­di­tions, health access, and lack of social protection.

The Unit­ed States pop­u­la­tion holds a wide range of views about immi­grants and immi­gra­tion is clear­ly the fore­front of polit­i­cal debate. About two thirds of the Amer­i­can pop­u­la­tion believes that over­all immi­gra­tion strength­ens the coun­try, based on their opin­ions that immi­grants are hard­work­ing and tal­ent­ed indi­vid­u­als, pro­vid­ing the Unit­ed States with a broad­er pop­u­la­tion of tal­ent and skills that they believe the coun­try can ben­e­fit from. On the oth­er hand, the remain­ing one third of the Unit­ed States pop­u­la­tion believes that immi­gra­tion is an over­all bur­den, as they feel the immi­grants are tak­ing over the jobs, hous­ing mar­ket and health­care, leav­ing Unit­ed States cit­i­zens with­out access to these, and/or hav­ing lim­it­ed access.


Many peo­ple in the Unit­ed States believe that hip hop is all about music. How­ev­er, it is real­ly a cul­ture involv­ing four major ele­ments: graf­fi­ti, DJing, MCing and B‑Boy (Break­ing). On August 11, 1973, DJ Kool Herc host­ed one of the most influ­en­tial hip hop par­ties that became the foun­da­tion of hip hop. Its loca­tion, 1520 Sedg­wick Avenue, in the Bronx, is now con­sid­ered the birth­place of hip hop.