The United States could contain up to 3.5 million
Arabs, but most of them have refused to cooperate with efforts by the Census
Bureau identified fewer than 1.5 million Arabs three years ago.
The majority of U.S. Arabs are
The Arab American Institute said more than half of the number of Arabs
in the United States failed to participate in the 2000 census, Middle East Newsline reported.
"We believe at least 3.5 million people in America have roots in the
Arab world," the institute said. "Like other ethnic, minority, and immigrant
populations, Arab Americans were undercounted. Too many simply did not mail
in the census forms or did not respond to the ancestry question on the long
form that measures the Arab community."
The AAI has been designated by the Census Bureau as a Census Information
Center. The classification allows AAI to analyze data as well as cooperate
in census information on the Arab-American community.
Most Arabs descend from Egypt, Lebanon and Syria and two-thirds reside
in 10 states, the institute said. One third of Arab-Americans live in
California, New York, and Michigan while 94 percent live in metropolitan
areas. They include Detroit,
Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and Washington.
The institute said Lebanese constitute a greater part of Arab Americans
residing in most states. The exception is New
Jersey, where Egyptian Americans form the largest Arab group. Americans of
Syrian decent make up the majority of Arab Americans in Rhode Island, while
the largest Palestinian population is in Illinois. The Iraqi and
Assyrian/Chaldean communities are concentrated in Illinois, Michigan, and
About 85 percent of Arab Americans have earned at least a high school
diploma and more than 40 percent have a bachelor's degree, way above the
U.S. average. Median income for Arab American households in 1999 was $47,000
compared with $42,000 for all households in the United States.
The institute said the United States has reduced visas to Arab
in wake of the Al Qaida attacks in September 2001. About 15,000 Arab
immigrants received visas issued in 2002, compared with more than 21,000 in