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Washington, DC


The D.C. Area Arab American Community

The Arab American Community in the District of Columbia, although, smaller than other communities ranks as the wealthiest. The area boasts a population of more than 125,000 with many Arab Americans choosing to reside in the suburbs, with many Arab Americans in the suburbs of Northern Virginia.

Diversity in the Arab-American Population

There are 22 Arab countries, including Palestine, which are members of the Arab League and share a common history, language and culture-the immigrants who migrated to America are from a select group of Arab countries.


Arab Americans in D.C

  • The Arab American population in the District of Columbia itself is approximately 10,950 according to the Arab American Institute.
  • The population of Arab Americans in Virginia is close to 125,000, adjusted for underreporting, with three out of four Arab Americans living in the northern suburbs near Washington D.C.
  • One in four Arabs identify as Lebanese in Virginia, while a large portion of the population are Palestinian, Egyptian, and Moroccan.

Arab American Origins

  • The Arab World includes 22 countries stretching from North Africa in the west to the Arabian Gulf in the east.
  • Arabs are ethnically, religiously and politically diverse but descend from a common linguistic and cultural heritage.
  • Not all Arabs are Muslim.
  • Not all Muslims are Arab.
  • Arab Americans began arriving to the United States during the late 19th century and early 20th century.

Arab American Population

  • Today there are over 3.5 million Arab Americans in the U.S.
  • About one of every three Arab Americans lives in one of the nation’s six largest metropolitan areas.
  • About 90 percent live in urban areas.
  • 66 percent of Arab Americans live in 10 states.
  • 33 percent live in California, Michigan and New York/New Jersey.
  • The cities with largest Arab American populations are Los Angeles, Detroit, New York, Chicago and Washington, D.C.

U.S. Arab American Population

Nationality Group Population Estimates
Lebanese/Syrian 1,600,000
Palestinian/Jordanian 180,000
Egyptian 360,000
Iraqi 160,000
Moroccan 100,000
Other 600,000
Total 3,000,000

Selected References:

  • “Detailed State Profiles.” The Arab American Institute.
  • Cohn, D’Vera, and Sarah Cohen. “Arab Americans in Washington DC Demographic Snapshot.” Allied Media Corp.