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Although there are no reliable figures, the diaspora is estimated to be around 14 million people, far more than the internal population of Lebanon of 4.3 million. Of the diaspora, only 1.2 million are Lebanese citizens.
The Lebanese diaspora, while historically trade-related, has more recently been linked to the Lebanese Civil War, with many Lebanese emigrating to Western countries. Because of the economic opportunities, many Lebanese have also worked in the Arab World, most notably the Gulf countries like Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. Currently around 65% of Lebanese citizens resident in Lebanon are Muslim and around 34% are Christian. This proportion is reversed for the diaspora; again, true figures are uncertain and estimates of the proportion of Christians range from 65% to 90%.
The Americas have long been a destination for Lebanese migration, with Lebanese arriving in some countries at least as early as the nineteenth century. The largest concentration of Lebanese outside the Middle East is in Brazil, which has reportedly over 7 million Brazilians of Lebanese ancestry, making Brazil's population of Lebanese nearly twice that of the entire population of Lebanon. There are also other large Lebanese communities in Latin American countries, namely Argentina, Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, and Venezuela. Many Lebanese have also been settled for quite some time in the United States, Canada, Australia and Europe. There are also sizable populations in francophone West Africa, particularly Ivory Coast.
Lebanese abroad are not presently permitted the right to vote in Lebanese elections. A law passed in late 2008 gives expatriates the right to vote in elections in 2013.
Lebanese abroad are considered "rich, educated and influential" and over the course of time emigration has yielded Lebanese "commercial networks" throughout the world. As a result, remittances from Lebanese abroad to family members within the country were estimated at $7.5 billion in 2010 and accounted for 18% of the country's economy.
Lebanese populations in the diaspora
There are no reliable statistics about the actual number of people of Lebanese descent. The list below contains approximate figures for people of Lebanese descent by country of residence, largely taken from the iLoubnan diaspora map. Additional reliable cites have been provided where possible. Additional estimates have been included where they can be cited; where applicable, these are used in place of the iLoubnan figures.
Note: An important percentage of Arabs in Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Venezuela, Bulgaria, Romania, Italy, Portugal and Spain are of Lebanese ancestry. They are denoted ** for this purpose.
Notable persons of Lebanese descent
Top row (left to right)
Some of the figures are of Lebanese Descent, while others are Lebanese Citizens
John Maron • Charbel Makhluf • Estephan El Douaihy • Elias Peter Hoayek • Youssef Karam • Former Lebanese President Camille Chamoun • Fairuz • Khalil Gibran • Former Lebanese President Bachir Gemayel • Carlos Slim • Sabah • Carlos Ghosn • Elie Saab • Charles Elachi • John Abizaid • John Abizaid • Elissa • Etienne Saqr • Donna Shalala • Ray LaHood • Michel Temer • U.S. Presidency Candidate Ralph Nader • Miss USA 2010 Rima Fakih • Nasrallah Boutros Sfeir • Bechara Boutros al-Rahi • Lebanese President Michel Suleiman
Prominent members of the Lebanese diaspora include Presidents and Vice-Presidents, e.g. Julio Teodoro Salem, Abdalá Bucaram, Alberto Dahik, Jamil Mahuad (all in Ecuador), Jacobo Majluta Azar (Dominican Republic), Julio Cesar Turbay (Colombia) and Alberto Abdala (Uruguay). Other famous politicians include Phillip Habib US Politician and Peace Envoy, George J. Mitchell US Politician and Peace Envoy, Ralph Nader, 2004 and 2008 US presidential candidate, Edward Seaga Prime Minister of Jamaica.
Very famous businessmen of Lebanese descent include Carlos Slim Helú, Carlos Ghosn and Nicolas Hayek and famous names in entertainment like Danny Thomas, Salma Hayek, Shakira, Tony Shaloub, Paul Anka and sportsmen like Mário Zagallo and Rony Seikaly.
- The Lebanese Demographic Reality Lebanese Information Center, reviewed by Statistics Lebanon. 14 January 2013.
- KUSUMO, Fitra Ismu ,"ISLAM EN AMERICA LATINA Tomo I: La expansión del Islam y su llegada a América Latina (Spanish Edition)"
- KUSUMO, Fitra Ismu, "ISLAM EN AMÉRICA LATINA Tomo II: Migración Árabe a América Latina y el caso de México (Spanish Edition)" 
- KUSUMO, Fitra Ismu, "ISLAM EN AMÉRICA LATINA Tomo III: El Islam hoy desde América Latina (Spanish Edition)"
- 26% of 1.9m Americans of Arab descent
- 26% of 3,665,789 Americans of Arab descent
- Includes Cuba, Guadalupe & Haiti
- Belize, Bolivia, Chile, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru
- Excludes Saudi Arabia & Kuwait, includes Iraq & Jordan
- Belgium, Cyprus, Germany, Greece, Italy, Monaco, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom
- Burkina Faso, Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria & Sierra Leone
- Egypt, Libya & rest of North Africa
- Iran & Philippines
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