Continuity and change in the Arab American population, 1980-2006

Andrzej Kulczycki, University of Alabama at Birmingham
Peter Lobo, New York City Department of City Planning

Between 1980 and 2006, the Arab American population more than doubled to 1.8 million and became more diverse, dominated less by Lebanese/Syrian ancestries. We assess the demographic and socio-economic characteristics of Arab Americans, and compare these with the total U.S. population. Arab Americans tended to be younger, more educated, had more intact family structures, and earned more than the U.S. population overall, although foreign-born women had poorer labor force outcomes. In the aftermath of 9/11, Arab Americans face heightened political scrutiny and uncertain assimilation. Using data from the 2006 American Community Survey, we examine if trends over three decennial censuses, 1980-2000, hold true in the post-9/11 period and if overall, Arab Americans continue to fare well on many indicators of socio-economic assimilation. We also assess differences across major ancestry groups and discuss the varying experiences of Arab immigrants in the USA and Europe.

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Presented in Session 74: Integration Processes Of Migrants