Middle Eastern American
A Middle Eastern American is a United States citizen or resident of a Middle Eastern ethnic, cultural and linguistic heritage or identity. Middle Eastern Americans may trace ancestry to any of the various indigenous populations of the countries comprising the Middle East.
Arabic, Armenian, Persian, Hebrew, and Turkish-speaking immigrants and other numerically smaller groups have settled in the United States since the late nineteenth century and, with their descendants, comprise a diverse pan-ethnic community.
It is unclear as to when the first Middle Easterner came to the United States. California has the largest Middle Eastern immigrant population, with nearly 400,000. Of states with the most Middle Eastern immigrants, Virginia has the fastest growing population, followed by Texas, Michigan, and New York. The total population of Middle Eastern Americans is greater than 936,000, four percent of the US population. 82% of Middle Eastern Americans are U.S. citizens, with 63% born in the U.S.six primary groups are: Lebanese, Iraqis, Yemenis, Egyptian, Syrian, and Iranian.
Many of the leading Middle Eastern countries of immigration to the United States are non-Arab. Of the top eight Middle Eastern sending countries in 2000, six—Iran, Pakistan, Israel, Azerbaijan, and Turkey—are not majority-Arab countries (the non-Arab countries in the study are Pakistan, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan,Iran, Turkey, and Israel). No Arab country sends as many immigrants to the United States as Iran, Pakistan, or Israel. Additionally, many immigrants from Arab countries are not Arabs, such as Armenians, Greeks, Chaldeans, Assyrians, and Jews. However, at least one-fourth of immigrants from Israel are Arabs.
Middle Easterners are one of the fastest growing immigrant groups in America. The figure shows very dramatic growth in this population over the last 30 years. In 1970, fewer than 200,000 Middle Easterners lived in the United States—by 2000 the number had grown 650 percent to nearly 1.5 million. Over the same period, the total foreign-born population grew at half the rate of the Middle Eastern population. Since 1990, the Middle Eastern population has increased 80 percent. Citizenship rates are relatively high among Middle Easterners. With a total illegal alien population estimated at eight to nine million (150,000 from the Middle East) living in the United States, violations of immigration laws are very common, but there is no evidence that Middle Easterners violate U.S. immigration law at rates higher than other immigrant groups.
Assuming a similar growth rate in this population as for the Middle East immigrant population overall, the number of young children in Middle Eastern families is likely to grow to roughly 950,000 over the next decade.[when?] In less than 10 years the number of Middle Eastern immigrants and their young children will grow to 3.4 million. indicating that the successful incorporation and assimilation of these immigrants and their children will be of increasing importance to the United States.
Middle Eastern Ancestries
|Ancestry||2000||2000 (% of US population)||2010||2010 (% of US population)|
|"Soviet Central Asia"||965||%||%|
|"North Caucasian Turkic"||1,347||%||290,893||%|
- "Table 1. First, Second, and Total Responses to the Ancestry Question by Detailed Ancestry Code: 2000". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2010-12-02.
- "Total ancestry categories tallied for people with one or more ancestry categories reported 2010 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 30 November 2012.