Socioeconomic Achievement Among Arab Immigrants in the USA: The Influence of Region of Origin and Gender

Based on the Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMS) data derived from 2001-2013 samples of the American Community Surveys, we examine the impact of region of origin and gender on socioeconomic achievement variation among Arab immigrants in the USA. Region of origin includes North Africa (Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, and Sudan), Levant (Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq), and the Arabian Peninsula (Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen). This examination is particularly important given the prevailing scholarly consensus that Arab immigrants are collectively portrayed as socioeconomically successful. Our analyses suggest two key findings. First, we find that region of origin is not a consistent predictor of earnings. While Arab immigrants from North Africa earned significantly less than those from the Levant, this was only true for males. No significant effect is found for region of origin in all other comparisons (both overall and when the analysis is restricted to males or females). Second, and by contrast, gender, net of other variables is a powerful predictor of earnings (both within regions and across regions).