Over the years Houston is fast becoming home to hundreds of thousands of Nigerians coming into the US. Houston has been seen as a defacto home for a growing number of Nigerians immigrating into the US.
It is recorded that over 100,000 Nigerian - Americans are currently living in the state of Texas. Texas seems to be more attractive to Nigerians for some reason.
To begin to understand why Houston seems to be positioned as a haven, let's take a look at Houston's geographic features first to get an idea of why Nigerians seem to take a liking for Houston, Texas.
Texas on the map
Texas is the second largest state in the US in terms of population and size. It is located in the southern region of the United States with a large portion of the state exposed to the oceans along the south-eastern part of the state.
There are quite a number of posits as to why Nigerians consider it their number one state of choice when thinking of relocating to the States.
1. The climate
The climate in Texas seems to resemble that of Nigeria. The state have temperatures closely similar to what we have in Nigeria's middle belt. The right amount of sunshine, and humidity. This can be assumed to be really comfortable for someone looking to live in the state of Texas, as they do not have to be bothered much on how to adjust to a new climate different from what they have back in Nigeria. Though Texas does experience snowfall, but that majorly is experienced in the mountainous areas.
2. Expats working in the Oil industry
Houston is home to oil industry giants like ExxonMobil. With companies like ExxonMobil having businesses all over the world including Nigeria(Oil producing country). It is easy to see the movement of employees and transfer of talent across from Nigeria. These employees travel with their families ofcourse, hence the growth in the number Nigerian families in Houston.
3. Brain drain from Nigeria
It is no news that hundreds of professionals are leaving Nigeria for other countries, and the USA is not left out. Nigeria is constantly loosing professionals in the fields of medicine, engineering etc constantly. Such expats would definitely prefer to move to a community where it would be easier to adjust to a city with high number of immigrants like themselves with pre-existing support system, naturally.
4. Hakeem Olajuwon
Hakeem Olajuwon was a former Houston Rockets basketball star who brought recognition to Nigerians living in the US. Before Hakeem, there was essentially no record number of immigration of Nigerians to Houston. But after winning two world record championships, a sense of familiarity grew in the city for Nigerians which in some way made Houston welcoming for Nigerians.