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Arab American Heritage Month: Home

April is Arab American Heritage Month

Banner announcing celebration of Arab America Heritage Month

Arab Americans

The Arab American Community

The United States is home to over 3.5 million Arab Americans. The cities with largest Arab American populations are Los Angeles, Detroit, New York, Chicago and Washington, D.C.

Diversity in the Arab American Population

There are 22 Arab countries, including Palestine, which are members of the Arab League and share a common history, language and culture.



Arab Americans are not officially recognized as a federal minority group and because of this, reporting numbers are almost never exact.

Arab American Origins

  • The Arab World includes 22 countries stretching from North Africa in the west to the Arabian Gulf in the east.
  • Arabs are ethnically, religiously and politically diverse but descend from a common linguistic and cultural heritage.
  • Not all Arabs are Muslim.
  • Not all Muslims are Arab.
  • Arab Americans began arriving to the United States during the late 19th century and early 20th century.

Arab American Population

  • Today there are over 3.5 million Arab Americans in the U.S.
  • About one of every three Arab Americans lives in one of the nation’s six largest metropolitan areas.
  • About 90 percent live in urban areas.
  • 66 percent of Arab Americans live in 10 states.
  • 33 percent live in California, Michigan and New York/New Jersey.
  • The cities with largest Arab American populations are Los Angeles, Detroit, New York, Chicago and Washington, D.C.

U.S. Arab American Population

Nationality Group Population Estimates
Lebanese/Syrian 1,600,000
Palestinian/Jordanian 180,000
Egyptian 360,000
Iraqi 160,000
Moroccan 100,000
Other 600,000
Total 3,000,000

Arab American Religion

  • The Arab American community is religiously diverse.
  • Almost every major religion is represented in the Arab American community.
  • Christians: Maronite Catholic, Melkite Catholic, Syrian Catholic, Chaldean Catholic, Roman Catholic, Antiochian Orthodox, Syrian Orthodox, Coptic Orthodox, Protestant
  • Muslims: Sunni, Shia and Druze

Arab American Education

  • Arab Americans with at least a high school diploma number 85%
  • More than 4 out of 10 Arab Americans have a bachelor’s degree or higher.
  • 17% of Arab Americans have a post-graduate degree which is nearly twice the American average (9%).
  • Of the school age population, 13% are in pre-school, 58% are in elementary or high school, 22% are enrolled in college and 7% are in graduate school.

United States Population Statistics

Map of United States showing percentage of Arab American Population by state

Timeline - Recognition in the US

2017 - Several states - Illinois, Oregon, Virginia, and Indiana - announce state support to designate April as Arab American Heritage Month.

2019 - Michigan representatives Rashida Tlaib and Debbie Dingell forward a resolution to U.S. Congress to make April National Arab American Heritage Month.

2021 - President Biden, the Department of State, members of Congress, and governors proclaim their support for National Arab American Heritage Month.

2022 - The initial supportive states, Congress, the State Department, and 45 other state governors designate April as National Arab American History Month.

Highlight - Arab American Ralph Nader

Ralph Nader

Ralph Nader

Ralph Nader (/ˈneɪdər/; born February 27, 1934) is an American political activist, author, lecturer, and attorney, noted for his involvement in consumer protection, environmentalism, and government reform causes. The son of Lebanese immigrants to the United States, Nader was educated at Princeton and Harvard and first came to prominence in 1965 with the publication of the bestselling book Unsafe at Any Speed, a critique of the safety record of American automobile manufacturers that became known as one of the most important journalistic pieces of the 20th century. Following the publication of Unsafe at Any Speed, Nader led a group of volunteer law students – dubbed “Nader’s Raiders” – in a groundbreaking investigation of the Federal Trade Commission, leading directly to that agency’s overhaul and reform. In the 1970s, Nader leveraged his growing popularity to establish a number of advocacy and watchdog groups including the Public Interest Research Group, the Center for Auto Safety, and Public Citizen.

Nader’s activism has been directly credited with the passage of several landmark pieces of American consumer protection legislation including the Clean Water Act, the Freedom of Information Act, the Consumer Product Safety Act, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the Whistleblower Protection Act, and the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act, and he has been repeatedly named to lists of the “100 Most Influential Americans”, including those published by Life MagazineTime Magazine, and The Atlantic, among others. He has run for President of the United States on several occasions as an independent and third party candidate, using the campaigns to highlight under-reported issues and a perceived need for electoral reform.

A two-time Nieman Fellow, Nader is the author or co-author of more than two dozen books, and was the subject of a documentary film on his life and work, An Unreasonable Man, which debuted at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival.