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Minnesota is home to the one of largest refugee populations in the United States (Batalova 2006) and, according to Singer and Wilson (2007), Minnesota is home to the largest metropolitan area for Somali resettlement. Since civil war broke out in the late 1980s in Somalia, over one million Somalis have been displaced as refugees throughout the world, a majority coming to the U.S. (CIA 2010). As of 2005, up to 35,000 Minnesotans identified as being of Somali descent (Gillaspy 2004). However, key members of the Somali Community, as well as Donald Yamamoto, principal deputy for the State Department’s Africa Bureau, dispute these figures and claim the national and local population figures are significantly higher and steadily
increasing (Stratis Health 2012).