Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Date of Degree


Document Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name



International Migration Studies


Jamie Longazel


Van Tran

Committee Members

Richard Ocejo

Subject Categories

Demography, Population, and Ecology | Human Geography | Inequality and Stratification | Migration Studies | Regional Sociology | Work, Economy and Organizations


migration studies, afghan refugees, DC area, northern virginia, transportation access, refugee integration


Since the Taliban returned to power in Afghanistan in August of 2021, nearly 90,000 Afghans who had fled their country have been resettled in the United States, constituting one of the largest groups of refugee arrivals in the U.S. in recent history. Working from a database I created from the administrative records of a non-profit refugee aid group, I use data and spatial analysis to examine the demographics of Afghans resettled in the DC metro area, the characteristics of the census tracts and counties in which they have been resettled, and their access to public transportation. I find that the resettled Afghan population skews significantly towards youths under the age of 18; that Afghans are typically resettled in the areas within the region where residents are mostly likely to be in poverty, non-citizens, and/or racial minorities; and that while many Afghans are resettled near bus routes, few have convenient access to metro trains. These findings suggest that, despite the sacrifices many Afghans made for U.S. policy objectives abroad, their resettlement patterns mirror those of other refugees and asylees in the United States: because of a widespread reticence to invest in refugee integration programs, these people are likely to encounter structural barriers to finding socio-economic stability and advancement.