AAI/Zogby Poll: More Than Three-Quarters of Young Arab Americans Report Discrimination
Posted Jul 20, 2007

AAI/Zogby Poll: More Than Three-Quarters of Young Arab Americans Report Discrimination

WASHINGTON – July 16, 2007 – The Arab American Institute (AAI) today released the results of a poll offering insight into Arab American experiences with discrimination, views on whether U.S. policy is respectful toward Islam, and pride in Arab American heritage. The poll, titled “Arab Americans: How We See Ourselves” and conducted by Zogby International, surveyed 501 Arab Americans nationwide from May 22 to 26 and has a margin of error of ± 4.5%. Click here for a copy of the full release and tables (PDF file).

Three Out Of Four Young Arab Americans Report Discrimination

Experiences of discrimination are not uniform within the Arab American community, with 76% of young Arab Americans (18 to 29 years old) and 58% of Arab American Muslims reporting that they have “personally experienced discrimination in the past because of [their] ethnicity,” as opposed to 42% of respondents overall.

Comparisons with previous AAI polls in which this same question was asked indicate a rise in experiences of discrimination amongst young Arab Americans. In a June 2003 poll, 38% of young Arab Americans reported having “personally experienced discrimination in the past because of [their] ethnicity.” In a January 2004 poll, 65% of young Arab Americans responded in the affirmative to the question.

Youth Less Pessimistic About Long-Term Effects

Even though young Arab Americans are more likely to have personally experienced discrimination, they are less concerned about the long-term effects of discrimination against Arab Americans. Of overall respondents, 57% responded that they were either “very worried” or “somewhat worried” about the “long-term effects of discrimination against Arab Americans.” 48% of Arab Americans between ages 18 and 29 were either “very worried” or “somewhat worried.”

The overall percentage of Arab Americans who are “very worried” or “somewhat worried” has remained steady since AAI asked the question in an October 2001 poll, falling just three points from 60%. The percentage of young Arab Americans responding they were “very worried” or “somewhat worried” has dropped markedly, though: from 85% in the October 2001 poll; to 78% in an October 2002 poll; to 73% in a July 2003 poll, to 69% in a January 2004 poll; to 48% in this poll.

Other Findings

Arab Americans overall were split on their agreement with the statement “U.S. policy demonstrates respect toward the Islamic faith,” but respondents between 18 and 29 and Muslim respondents were far more likely to disagree. 67% of the 18 to 29 age group disagreed and 68% of Muslim Arab Americans disagreed.

Pride in heritage compared to ten years ago has risen most among Arab Americans between 18 and 29, with 47% responding that they have more pride in their heritage today, as opposed to just 11% who have less pride.


Founded in 1985, the Arab American Institute (AAI) is a nonprofit organization committed to the civic and political empowerment of Americans of Arab descent.  AAI provides policy, research and public affairs services to support a broad range of community activities.

For more information on AAI, please visit http://www.aaiusa.org.