- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 8, 2005

America’s Arab population totaled 1.19 million people in 2000, according to a U.S. Census Bureau report released yesterday, up from 610,000 in 1980 and 860,000 in 1990 and making up about 0.42 percent of the country’s 281.4 million people.

The report, titled “We the People of Arab Ancestry in the United States,” counts 850,000 people who reported only Arab ancestry and 340,000 who claimed partial Arab ancestry.

Of the total Arab population, the report says, Lebanese led with 440,279, followed by Syrians (142,897), Egyptians (142,832), Palestinians (72,112), Jordanians (39,734), Moroccans (38,923) and Iraqis (37,714). The report says 205,822 identified themselves only as “Arab or Arabic” and 82,337 described their ancestors as “other Arab group.” Some respondents reported more than one ancestry.

The report also says:

• The Arab population was 57 percent male, compared with 49 percent of the total U.S. population.

• Men aged 20 to 48 represented a larger proportion of the Arab population (31 percent) than they did of the total population (22 percent).

• 25 percent of the Arab population was younger than 18, compared with 26 percent of the general population. About 9 percent of Arabs were 65 and older, compared with 12 percent for the total population.

• Arabs were more likely to be married (61 percent) among those 15 and older than the total population (54 percent) and were less likely to be separated, widowed or divorced (13 percent, compared with 19 percent).

The report also says 69 percent of the Arabs in this country 5 and older spoke a language other than English at home, compared with 18 percent of the total population. But, it says, of those who spoke another language at home, 65 percent spoke English “very well,” representing 44 percent of Arabs age 5 and older.

It also says a higher percentage of Jordanians (89 percent) than any other Arab group spoke a language other than English at home, but that 66 percent of them spoke English “very well,” about 59 percent of the total Jordanian population age 5 and older.

• 46 percent of the Arabs in America were U.S. citizens in 2000, compared with 80 percent of the total population. Of the 54 percent of foreign-born Arabs, more than half became naturalized U.S. citizens by 2000 — a higher proportion than the total foreign population.

• Arab men working year round and full time earned a median income of $41,700, compared with the national median of $37,100. Arab women earned a median income of $31,800, compared with $27,200 for the total female population.

• The median family income among Arabs is $52,300 — higher than the national median of $50,000. Among the different Arab groups, Lebanese, Syrian and Egyptian families had higher median family incomes than other Arab families, at about $60,000 a year.

The report also says 17 percent of Arabs in the United States lived in poverty, compared with 12 percent of the total population. It said that among the Arab groups, Lebanese had the highest homeownership rate (70 percent), while Moroccans had the lowest (35 percent).

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