Ghexit: Ghanaians Lead In Applications For US Green Card Lottery


For many people, winning a US green card lottery is a dream. A dream to look forward to and prepare for while hoping for the best.

While some people take the terrifying route of mass migrations to chase greener pastures in America, others continue chasing dreams in their various countries while applying for the US green card lottery, but the goal is still the same; to escape their countries for the perceived lush fields of America.

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Data has it that among all the nationals around the world applying for the US diversity visa program also known as “US green card lottery”, Ghanaians are leading the charge.

In 2015 alone (which is the earliest year for which data is available) Ghana had the highest number of applicants, numbering almost 1.73 million people. That number accounts for about 7% of Ghana’s population of 25 million according to US State Dept. data analysis by Pew Research.

US Green Card Lottery

To be fair, Ghana was able to claim the top spot in this after two major and more populous countries were disallowed from applications. Bangladesh and Nigeria have, formerly, been the countries to turn up the highest number of applicants over the years.

Citizens from Bangladesh and Nigeria were, however, disallowed from applying in 2013 and 2015 respectively due to one of the diversity visa programs rules to ensure that various countries get a fair chance. The rule states that once at least 50,000 nationals of any country successfully immigrate to the US over a five-year period, citizens of that country become ineligible for the program.

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When Nigeria was still in the running in 2013 and 2014, Ghana came in second in the number of applications and despite Nigeria accounting for the most applications, the total applicants from Nigeria have never quite managed to climb above 1% of the country’s massive population.

Last year, authorities had discovered a fake embassy in Ghana operated by a criminal network which had been going strong for 10 years. Its continued existence in Ghana for that long showed just how eager Ghanaians were to leave the country and this data is another marker of that fact.

Ghana’s recent economic struggles which cost former President Mahama a second shot at the Presidency is believed to also be the reason behind the desire to leave the country. President Nana Akufo-Addo who had run on a promise to improve the country’s economy does not seem to be succeeding much in that angle.