Humanities › Issues Arab Americans in the United States: Population Breakdown Arab Americans Are a Growing Electoral Force in Swing States Share Flipboard Email Print Bill Pugliano/Getty Images Issues The Middle East Middle East & The U.S. Policy Basics The U. S. Government U.S. Foreign Policy U.S. Liberal Politics U.S. Conservative Politics Women's Issues Civil Liberties Race Relations Immigration Crime & Punishment Canadian Government Understanding Types of Government View More By Pierre Tristam Political Journalist B.A., Politics and History, New York University Pierre Tristam is an award-winning writer who covers Middle East, foreign affairs, immigration, and civil liberties. He has been writing for more than 20 years. our editorial process Pierre Tristam Updated April 14, 2019 As a bloc, the 3.5 million Arab Americans in the United States are becoming an important economic and electoral minority. The largest concentrations of Arab Americans are in some of the most contested electoral battlegrounds of the 1990s and the 2000s — Michigan, Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia. In the early 1990s Arab Americans tended to register Republican more than Democratic. That changed after 2001. So have their voting patterns. The largest block of Arab Americans in most states is of Lebanese descent. They account for a quarter to a third of the total Arab population in most states. New Jersey is an exception. There, Egyptians account for 34% of the Arab American population, Lebanese account for 18%. In Ohio, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania, Lebanese account for 40% to 58% of the Arab American population. All these figures are based on estimates by Zogby International, conducted for the Arab American Institute. A note about the population estimates in the table below: You'll notice quite a disparity between the 2000 Census Bureau figures and those of Zogby in 2008. Zogby explains the difference: "The decennial Census identifies only a portion of the Arab population through a question on 'ancestry' on the census long form. Reasons for the undercount include the placement of and limits of the ancestry question (as distinct from race and ethnicity); the effect of the sample methodology on small, unevenly distributed ethnic groups; high levels of out-marriage among the third and fourth generations; and distrust/misunderstanding of government surveys among more recent immigrants." Arab American Populations, 11 Largest States Rank State 1980Census 2000Census 2008Zogby Estimate 1 California 100,972 220,372 715,000 2 Michigan 69,610 151,493 490,000 3 New York 73,065 125,442 405,000 4 Florida 30,190 79,212 255,000 5 New Jersey 30,698 73,985 240,000 6 Illinois 33,500 68,982 220,000 7 Texas 30,273 65,876 210,000 8 Ohio 35,318 58,261 185,000 9 Massachusetts 36,733 55,318 175,000 10 Pennsylvania 34,863 50,260 160,000 11 Virginia 13,665 46,151 135,000 Source: Arab American Institute Featured Video Cite this Article Format mla apa chicago Your Citation Tristam, Pierre. "Arab Americans in the United States: Population Breakdown." ThoughtCo, Aug. 26, 2020, thoughtco.com/arab-americans-in-the-united-states-2353696. Tristam, Pierre. (2020, August 26). Arab Americans in the United States: Population Breakdown. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/arab-americans-in-the-united-states-2353696 Tristam, Pierre. "Arab Americans in the United States: Population Breakdown." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/arab-americans-in-the-united-states-2353696 (accessed November 29, 2021). copy citation Celebrating Arab American Heritage Month Did Oil Drive the US Invasion of Iraq? Interesting Facts and Information About the U.S. Indigenous Population Common Arab Stereotypes in TV and Film Interesting Facts about Diverse Groups in America Living Past 90 in America is No Decade at the Beach The Difference Between Hispanic and Latino Understanding America's Digital Divide 4 Facts About Indigenous Peoples Reservations Persistent Racial Stereotypes in TV Shows and Movies Current Population of the United States Geography of Missouri 6 Interesting Facts About the Hispanic Population 2000 Presidential Election of George W. Bush vs. Al Gore Top 100 Most Common Last Names in the United States Should the U.S. Census Count Undocumented Immigrants?