Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb Counties
Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties are the three most populous counties in Michigan, and comprise metro Detroit. These three counties also have the largest Arab and Chaldean populations in the state, as well as some of the most concentrated Arab and Chaldean populations in the nation.
The Arab and Chaldean community is very diverse across the three counties. There are Christians and Muslims of all sects, Druze, Mandaean and other faith groups, as well as secular people. The Arabs and Chaldeans in metro Detroit trace their ancestry to many countries, including (in descending order by population) Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen, Syria and Palestine. There are also Egyptian, Jordanian and Sudanese communities, among others.
As you will see from the interactive graphs in this report, the Arab and Chaldean community in metro Detroit is young, has larger families than the White population and tends to live in multi-generational households.
There is also a paradox in the community. Arabs and Chaldeans across the three counties earn college degrees and own homes at high rates, but are also more likely to be unemployed and live below the poverty level than the White population. With more effective data we could better determine the causes for this paradox, but it can likely be attributed to the unique nature of the Arab and Chaldean community in metro Detroit: a large number of the community have recently arrived from home countries embedded in civil strife, particularly Iraq, Syria and Yemen. These recent immigrants and refugees may have lacked access to formalized education and medical care in their home countries. ACCESS and other human service agencies in Michigan are working to empower all community members to become more self-sufficient. We know from historical trends that Arab and Chaldean immigrants are adept at finding and creating resources for themselves and their communities.