Syrian diaspora refers to the native Syrian people, living outside of Syria, as either immigrants or refugees. There are almost as many Syrians living outside of Syria (15 million), as within (18 million). The majority of the diaspora population consists of Syrian Christians. They trace their origin to several waves of Christian emigration, starting with the exodus that followed the 1860 Druze–Maronite conflict in Ottoman Syria.
Under the current nationality law, diaspora Syrians do not have an automatic right of return to Syria. Due to varying degrees of assimilation, most diaspora Syrians have not passed on the Arabic language to their children, while still maintaining a Syrian ethnic identity.
According to the Syrian Ministry of Expatriates, the Syrian diaspora is estimated at 15 million people who emigrated to North America (United States and Canada), European Union (including Sweden, France and Germany), South America (mainly in Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Venezuela and Colombia), Australia and Africa. An estimated one million Syrians live in the United States, including those who are third or fourth generation Arab Americans of Syrian descent.
- Singh, Shubha. "Like India, Syria has a large diaspora (With stories on Syrian president’s visit)". Theindian News. Retrieved 15 March 2014.