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.
The Census Bureau identified fewer than 1.5 million Arabs three years ago.
The majority of U.S. Arabs are Christians.
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 California.
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 immigrants 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 2001.
MichNews.com Editor's Note: The following article is from World Tribune.com. After receiving many emails/complaints, we would like to address a very important issue in this article.
Assyrians and Chaldeans are referred to as "Arabs". Even though Assyrians and Chaldeans originate from the Middle East, they are not "Arabs". Historically speaking, Arabs came long after the Assyrian/Chaldean people. Such reference can be found in the Bible. The only reason that the Assyrian/Chaldean people are called Arabs is for politically correct reasons. So for the record, they are Christian/Catholic not Arab/Muslim.
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