The number of girls and women at risk for genital mutilation in the U.S. has tripled since 1990 and quadrupled for girls under 18 — an increase that health experts attribute to a rise in immigration from countries where the practice is prevalent.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 513,000 women and girls are either at risk for or have already suffered genital mutilation in the U.S. compared to 168,000 in 1990. That’s according to a 2016 CDC study that is based on data from 1990-2012.

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The CDC says the increase is a result of rapid growth in the number of immigrants from genital-cutting-practicing countries living in the U.S., and not from increases in the practice itself in those countries.

The estimated 513,000 at risk of or a victim of genital cutting living in the U.S. come from these countries, according to UNICEF:

* Egypt: 101,000 (20%)

* Ethiopia: 90,000 (18%)

* Somalia: 64,000 (12%)

* Nigeria: 46,000 (9%)

* Sudan: 31,000 (6%)

* Liberia: 29,000 (6%)

* Sierra Leone: 26,000 (5%)

* Kenya: 16,000 (3%)

* Eritrea: 15,000 (3%)

* Yemen: 13,000 (3%)

* Guinea: 12,000 (2%)

* Other, specified: 27,000 (5%)

* Africa, unspecified regions: 31,000 (6%)

* West Africa, unspecified regions: 12,000 (2%)

Total 513,000 (100)

Tresa Baldas can be contacted at tbaldas@freepress.com

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