OpinionMeister

Friday, May 06, 2005

Arab-Americans Doing Very Well

The Financial Times has an interesting article headlined "Culture is not the culprit in Arab poverty." Link.
People of Arab descent living in the US are better educated and wealthier than the average American of non-Arab descent. That is one surprising conclusion drawn from data collected by the US Census Bureau in 2000. The census also found that Arab Americans are better educated and wealthier than Americans in general.

Whereas 24 per cent of all Americans hold college degrees, 41 per cent of Arab-Americans are college graduates. The median annual income of an Arab-American family living in the US is $52,300 - 4.6 per cent higher than the figure for all other American families. More than half of such families own their home. Forty-two per cent of people of Arab descent in the US work as managers or professionals, while the overall average is 34 per cent.

Bear in mind when reading this that Arab and Muslim are two very different things. Many Arabs are not Muslim and most Muslims are not Arab. The Arabs have a long tradition of trade. The Arab bazaar is known world-wide. I would think that many Americans of Arab descent - whether Muslim, Christian, or Jewish - have their own retail or wholesale business. The problems in the Arab world are primarily political. Arabs living under a kleptocracy are kept in poverty. However, remember that when Lebanon was relatively free, the Lebanese were quite prosperous.

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