Uzbek Americans

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Uzbeks in America
O'zbek amerikaliklari
Total population
  • 4,000 (Uzbek ancestry or ethnic origin, US census in the year 2000)
  • 62,713 (Uzbek-born, 2014)
Regions with significant populations
New York City Metropolitan Area, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Chicago, San Antonio, Houston, San Francisco, San Jose, Los Angeles
Islam, Judaism, Orthodox Christianity
Related ethnic groups
Other Turkic peoples

Uzbek Americans are the Uzbeks who have immigrated to the United States or Uzbek immigrants with green cards mostly received by lottery.

The New York City Metropolitan Area, including Brooklyn and Queens in New York City and Fair Lawn in Bergen County, New Jersey, is home to by far the largest Uzbek population in the United States. Other large Uzbek populations are most centred in Texas. San Antonio and Houston have the largest Uzbek population in Texas, but Dallas and Austin also have a considerable sized population.


Since the late 1950s, over 1,000 Uzbek families migrated to the United States, according to unofficial data. The first of them came from Europe, but from the mid-1960s they mainly came from Turkey and, to a lesser extent, Saudi Arabia and elsewhere.

According to U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs Statistics, 56,028 families won visas through the DV lottery program between 1996–2016.

A wave of Uzbek immigrants to the United States settled in the country in the 1980s, because of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. From the early 1990s to the present day, most of the Uzbeks who migrate go to the U.S.


Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev with members of the Uzbek diaspora in the United States.

Every year, around 6,000–7,800 Uzbeks win the green card lottery. Thus, more than 20,000 ethnic Uzbeks are citizens of the United States today. The greater percentages of Uzbeks live mainly in New York, San Antonio, Houston, Philadelphia and New Jersey, growing rapidly in populations particularly in the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens in New York City and in Northern New Jersey. However, smaller pockets of Uzbek Americans can be found in other major American metropolitan areas, such as Chicago, Cleveland, and Pittsburgh. The years of 2012 and 2013 had the largest migration of Uzbeks to the United States in history, much more so than the 1,000–1,800 green card lottery winners that were originally set in place.

Most Uzbek migrants are engaged in business and science, working in various institutions and companies. Part of the Uzbek diaspora is involved in government offices, schools and colleges of the country, as well as in areas like defense, aviation and medicine. Some representatives of the Uzbek diaspora hold senior executive positions in a number of American states.


As with other ethnic groups in the United States, Uzbek Americans also have several cultural associations. The Central Asian Foundation, established in July 2015, is a non-profit organization that promotes the social welfare of its members by developing and fostering cultural and social awareness and relations between the American and Central Asian communities in the United States.

By other way, from December 13, 1958, Uzbeks of USA formed the "Turkestan -America" Association (ATA) in Philadelphia, which joined the citizens of the former Soviet Turkestan living in United States, taking advantage the growing number of immigrants in the United States of Central Asian origin. Under federal law the U.S. first registered Association in Philadelphia and, later (in 1961), it was recorded in New York.

Notable people

  • Alexei Sultanov – classical pianist
  • Jacob Arabo – jeweler, founder of Jacob & Co
  • Lola Astanova – classical pianist
  • Milana Vayntrub – actress and comedian
  • Nazif Shahrani – professor of anthropology and Central Asian and Middle Eastern Studies at Indiana University, Bloomington
  • Sylvia Nasar – journalist and writer of A Beautiful Mind
  • Arthur Kaliyev - hockey player
  • See also