About 41% of Arab residents have a college degree, compared with 24% of other US residents, the Census Bureau said in its first detailed socio-economic report on the nation's Arab population.

 

About 64% of residents with Egyptian ancestry had a college degree, the highest among Arab groups, followed by Lebanese (39%) and Palestinians (38%).

 

Better education, jobs

 

The report, released on Tuesday, said the educational success was reflected in employment, with Arabs enjoying good jobs and higher incomes.

 

The proportion of US Arabs working in management jobs was higher than the US average, 42% compared to 34%.

 

The median income of an Arab family was $52,300, about $2300 more than the median income for all US families. The report added.

 

Americans of Lebanese descent made the most money, with an average family income of $61,000, about $3000 more than Syrian-Americans and $4000 more than Egyptian-American residents.

 

Helen Samhan, executive director of the Arab American Institute Foundation, lauded the bureau for a report that shows "how integrated Arabs are in American life. It is a community that is well-rooted and well-invested in the United States".

 

"That is something that many Americans don't pay attention to when usually the Arab community is only covered in a negative sense," she said.

 

Poverty rate

 

Yet, US Arabs also had a higher poverty rate (16.7%) than the nation (12.4%).

 

Samhan said it was probably a reflection of a lack of wealth among refugees who have resettled in the United States since 1990 from countries such as Iraq.

 

The details in the report covered the 850,000 people who identified themselves in the 2000 census as having only Arab ancestry. The 2000 census did not ask for information on religion.

 

Arab-American groups say the 1.2 million tallied in the census is probably an undercount because many people with Arab ancestry may be reluctant to fill out government forms
because they came from countries with oppressive regimes.