Jordanian Americans

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Jordanian Americans
الأميركيون الأردنيون
Total population
2021 American Community Survey:[1]

Jordanian-born, 2014[2]
Regions with significant populations
North Jersey and Brooklyn, Washington, D.C., Bridgeview and Chicago, and Dearborn, Michigan and Metro Detroit, California
American English, Jordanian Arabic
Islam (Sunni Muslims), Christianity (Greek Orthodox Christians, Catholics, and Protestant)
Related ethnic groups
other Arab Americans

Jordanian Americans (Arabic: الأميركيون الأردنيون) are Americans of Jordanian descent. In 2014, the American Community Survey reported that there were 80,120 Jordanian Americans in the United States.



The history of the Jordanian immigration to the United States is relatively recent. The first identifiable wave of immigration from Jordan to the United States occurred after the Second World War (1945). Those first Jordanians settled in Chicago, (especially in the Near West and Southwest Sides sections),[3] New York City, and the Southwest and West Coast states (i.e. California). Over 5,000 Jordanians arrived to the United States in the 1950s.

These early migrants were forced to work as immigrants because of poverty that Jordan suffered at the time, caused by the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, which took place in this small country. They were a group of hard workers that included businessmen and doctors, between others. Many men lived temporarily in the USA and returned with their families to Jordan after several years working or studying there.[3] In those early years, people in the Jordanian East Bank and West Bank Palestinians could travel to the United States with Jordanian passports, creating the undefined category "Palestinian – Jordanian."[3]

After 1967[edit]

In the mid 1960s, due to U.S. immigration laws and the Six-Day War of 1967 in Jordan, the number of Jordanians who emigrated to the United States exceeded the 11,000 people. At this time, the majority chose to settle in Western cities and in the southwest of the country, except the wealthy Jordanians who felt more comfortable in the suburbs of large cities. Then in the 1970s, a civil war broke out in Jordan, causing 27,535 Jordanians emigrated to the USA. In the 1980s, annually emigrated around 2,500 Jordanian to the USA. By then, the Jordanian community in the United States had grown at a rapid pace, and it already represented a large population. This was in large part related to the Arab-Israeli war in Jordan, as well as the Black September of 1971. Therefore, a substantial number of Jordanians who settled in the United States at this time were war refugees. The total number of Jordanian immigrants from 1820 to 1984 was 56,720. This wave of Jordanian emigration was due to internal strife in his country, as well as economic issues. Salaries in the United States were higher than in Jordan, which incentivized workers to immigrate.[4]


The New York City Metropolitan Area is home to the largest Jordanian population in the United States.[5]

U.S cities[edit]

Currently, the New York City Metropolitan Area, notably including Paterson, New Jersey, attracts the highest number of legal Jordanian immigrants admitted to the United States.[5] The Little Ramallah community of South Paterson in New Jersey is home to a rapidly growing Jordanian immigrant population. Yonkers, New York has a sizeable Jordanian population. [6] The Jordanian American community in Washington, DC held a candlelight vigil after the death of King Hussein. Chicago also maintains, even today, a large Jordanian population.[3]

In the time period between World War II and the 1980s, most Jordanians who emigrate to the USA were men whose ages ranged from 20 and 39 and they married people. An important part of them were university graduates (30%), and worked in professional positions (40%). However, some immigrants lived only temporarily in the USA. Most Jordanians emigrate to the USA looking for better wages than they get in Jordan. One difference of Jordanians from other Middle Eastern immigrants is that they often bring their families to the US when they get a job there. The cohesion of their communities has hindered the Americanization of Jordanians. Most of Jordanians live in neighborhoods formed by people from their country. However, Jordanians who are fluent in English have greater interaction with the majority population. Their relationship with the rest of the population is reinforced when they have a good level of education and good jobs. Also, immigrants from urban areas of Jordan have adapted more quickly in the US than those from rural areas. As with other immigrant groups, children raised in the United States integrate into American society more quickly than migrant adults. Jordanians generally speak Arabic, but many also speak English.[4]

Employment and Economic traditions[edit]

Most of Jordanian Americans are professors/teachers, scientists, doctors, engineers and entrepreneurs. It is often men who will work outside the home, similar to the traditions in Jordan and many other Middle Eastern Countries. Many Jordanians will emigrate to the United States to study at university, and some of them are financially helped by the government of Jordan.[4]


Many cities have Jordanian restaurants such as the Petra House in Portland, Oregon.

Interactions with other ethnic groups[edit]

Most Jordanian Americans interact with other Arabs due to cultural and linguistic affinities.[4]


The majority of Jordanian Americans are Sunni Muslims, but many others are Catholics, Greek Orthodox Christians, and to a lesser extent, Protestants and Evangelicals.[4]


Jordanians have many organizations in the U.S., including the Jordanian American Association[7][8] and the Jordanian American Association of New York. The Jordanian American Association is based in South San Francisco, and its goal is to establish social activities for the Jordanian Americans of Northern California[8] The Jordanian American Association of New York aims to relate to Jordanian residents in different parts of the city, and to help establish relationships between them and their families in Jordan.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "People Reporting Ancestry, 2021 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates, United States Census Bureau".
  2. ^ "PLACE OF BIRTH FOR THE FOREIGN-BORN POPULATION IN THE UNITED STATES, Universe: Foreign-born population excluding population born at sea, 2007-2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 16 July 2013.[dead link]
  3. ^ a b c d Stephen R. Porter (November 26, 2005). "Jordanians". Encyclopedia of Chicago. Retrieved 31 May 2010.
  4. ^ a b c d e Olivia Miller (November 26, 2008). "A Countries and Their Cultures: Jordanian Americans". Countries and their cultures. Retrieved May 18, 2010.
  5. ^ a b "Yearbook of Immigration Statistics: 2011 Supplemental Table 2". U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Retrieved 2012-07-08.
  6. ^ Brown, Betsy (May 27, 1979). "County Becomes a New Melting Pot". The New York Times. Retrieved April 3, 2021.
  7. ^ jordanian american association
  8. ^ a b jordanian american association. S.F. Archived 2013-06-30 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ Jordanian American Association of New York Archived 2013-07-21 at the Wayback Machine

Further reading[edit]

  • Miller, Olivia, and Norman Prady. "Jordanian Americans." Gale Encyclopedia of Multicultural America, edited by Thomas Riggs, (3rd ed., vol. 2, Gale, 2014), pp. 579-589. online

External links[edit]

  1. Jordan Times newspaper
  2. ED229297 - American, Jordanian, and Other Middle Eastern National Perceptions.
  3. Embassy of the United States Amman, Jordan.
  4. Relations with the United States.
  5. American Chamber of Commerce in Jordan Celebrates its Tenth Anniversary.
  6. U.S. Arab population up more than 75 percent since 1990, census report shows