5 Things to Know about the Egyptian Diaspora in the U.S.

Feb 13, 2018

The U.S. and Egypt have a deep alliance and strategic partnership that goes back decades. This relationship is often defined by the countries’ close military partnership and commitment to Middle East stability – but it more often plays out in the daily lives of the nearly 250,000 Egyptians living in America.

The Egyptian diaspora is a small but thriving immigrant community in the United States. Its members often represent the best of both cultures, and serves as a human bridge between the two countries.

Here are 5 things you might not have known about the Egyptian diaspora in the U.S. that can help explain who this group is.

  1. They are well educated and skilled. Egyptian immigrants and their children are more likely than the U.S. general population to have a college degree, be employed, and have a professional job.
  2. Many of them are American citizens. More than half (60%) of Egyptian immigrants are naturalized U.S. citizens. This is much more than the 44% of the overall foreign-born population.
  3. They’re on your TV screen. Egyptians are a present and growing part of Hollywood. Notable Egyptian celebrities include the Today Show’s Hoda Kotb, 24’s Sammy Sheik, Twilight and Robot’s Rami Malek, and Independence Day’s Sayed Badreya.
  4. They’re your neighbors. Although a relatively small group within the U.S., Egyptian-Americans live in all corners of the country. The biggest concentrations of Egyptians in the U.S. are in New York City, NY; New Jersey City, NJ; Los Angeles, CA; Washington, DC; Nashville, TN; Chicago, IL; Riverside, CA; Miami-Fort Lauderdale, FL; Philadelphia, PA; Houston, TX; and San Francisco, CA.
  5. They value their community. The U.S.-based Egyptian diaspora is highly active and vocal. Its diaspora organizations are strong proponents of human rights, provide medical care, and represent the Coptic Christian community. Coptic Orphans, the Egyptians Relief Association, the Egypt Cancer Network, and the American Egyptian Cooperation Foundation are especially active nonprofit organizations in the U.S.
  6. They provide for their families. The U.S.-based diaspora sends hundreds of millions of dollars back home each year. These remittances helped their families through the 2008 global economic crisis, price inflation, and other tough economic times.

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Migration Policy Institute 2015
US Census 2012