When you think of Arab Americans, what images come to mind? Do you see someone who is an immigrant or American born? Poor or rich? High or low education? Muslim or Christian?
FACT 2 in Our Series This Week: Arab Americans are diverse—they are immigrants and American born, rich and poor, highly educated and not, Muslim and Christian. Consider, for example, this basic demographic profile:
Three-quarters of adult Arab Americans in the Detroit region are immigrants. (If we added children, the percentage would drop appreciably.)
Arab Americans are richer and poorer than other Americans—25% have total family incomes of $100,000 or more per year (16% in the general population); 24% of Arab Americans have total family incomes of $20,000 or less (18% of the general population).
Arabs have about the same percentage of college and advanced degrees as the general population.
The majority (58%) of Arab Americans are Christian. Of these, most are Catholics.
Most Arab Muslims are Shi`a (56%); Sunnis are 35%. (Sunnis are the majority group in Arab countries.)
What do these numbers all mean? One thing is this—Arab American is a simple label that belies a diverse community. Indeed, it’s more accurate to think of multiple communities than a single one.
Do any of these facts and figures surprise you?
Stayed tuned this week for more facts about Arab Americans from our new study. Scroll down to read Monday’s “Fact 1.”
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