Arab immigrants began coming to the U.S. is sizable numbers during the 1880’s. It is estimated that nearly 3.5 million Americans trace their roots to an Arab country. Arab Americans are found in every state, but more than two thirds of them live in just ten states (California, Michigan, New York, Florida, Texas, New Jersey, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia). Metropolitan Los Angeles, Detroit, and New York are home to one-third of the population.
Arab Americans are as diverse as their countries of origin, with unique immigration experiences that have shaped their ethnic identity in the United States. While the majority of Arab Americans descend from the first wave of mostly Christian immigrants, Arab Muslims represent the fastest growing segment of the Arab American community.
Contrary to popular assumptions or stereotypes, the majority of Arab Americans are native-born, and nearly 82% are citizens. While the community traces its roots to every Arab country, the majority of Arab Americans have ancestral ties to Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, Egypt and Iraq.