The African Diaspora in Europe

Historical Overview 

The history of the African Diaspora in Europe is still largely misunderstood and has not received much recent academic attention. It originated tens of thousands of years ago when human society, in the modern sense, first came into being. During this time, several waves of men and women from the African continent had begun to migrate to Europe. There is sufficient evidence of the existence of African descendants during the times of the ancient Greeks and Romans due to trade and exploration. As infrastructure grew and means of transportation improved, the dispersal of African people continued to increase throughout Europe. Not only were Africans entering Europe, but Europeans were developing ways of traveling deeper into Africa. As Europeans began to trade with local tribe leaders and merchants within Africa, the forced displacement of the African community increased with the sale of members from these African communities. Colonization spread throughout Africa with several European countries claiming land with valuable resources. 

Today more Africans and African descendants are integrated into European society, but problems continue to exist within different areas of society. Many of these problems differ depending on which culture or country the Africans and African descendants are located. This will be looked at more in depth in regard to Germany, Great Britain, France, the Netherlands, and Portugal.

Facts and Figures

Continent / Country Country population Afro-descendants
Europe 590,856,462.00 2.40%
France 62,752,136 8.0% (inc. French Guiana & other territories)
United Kingdom 60,609,153 3.0% (inc. partial)
Italy 59,448,163 1.30%
Spain 40,397,842 1.30%
Germany 82,000,000 0.60%
Netherlands 16,491,461 1.80%
Portugal 10,605,870 2.00%
Russia 141,594,000 0.12%
Poland 38,082,000 0.002
Republic of Ireland 4,339,000 1.10%

Source: ICD