Federal Census Bureau Releases Reports on Arab-Americans

December 2, 2003

Source: USA Today


On December 2, 2003 USA Today reported that the first of two reports on Arabs in the USA is to be released next month by the Census Bureau. According to the article, the Census report shows that "Arabs numbered 1.2 million in 2000, up 38% since 1990 and double the number in 1980, when the Census began tracking ancestry. The overall U.S. population grew 13% in the 1990s to 281.4 million. Despite their rapid growth, Arabs still make up less than half of 1% of the population. About half live in five states: California, New York, Michigan, Florida and New Jersey. The Census counts all U.S. residents who claim Arab ancestry, including those who are not American citizens... More than a third claim Lebanese ancestry. Syrians and Egyptians each account for about 12%. Many Arabs claim mixed ancestries. There are Arab-Irish Americans, Arab-Italian Americans and Arab-German Americans. About 80% of Arabs are white; 17% say they're white and another race. Arabs are concentrated in suburbs of metropolitan areas: Jersey City; Arlington, Va.; and Burbank, Calif." While the census does not track religion, other surveys show that Arabs make up less than 25% of the Muslim population in the USA. Most Arabs in this country are Christian.