Arabs, descendants are 6% of Brazil’s population: survey

An unprecedented study commissioned by the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce found that the Arab community in Brazil numbers at 11.61 million, 45% of whom are in the A and B income brackets.

Thais Sousa

São Paulo – An unprecedented survey made public this Wednesday (22) by the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce (ABCC) has shown that Arabs and descendants make up 6% of Brazil’s population. The ‘Exclusive National Survey on Arabs in Brazil’ was done by Ibope Inteligência in partnership with H2R Pesquisas Avançadas. It has found that the Arab community in Brazil numbers at 11.61 million people. The survey was released to mark the ABCC’s 68th anniversary.

General survey data, such as the number and countries of origin of Arabs and descendants in Brazil, was collected by Ibope Inteligência and presented by its CEO, Mrs. Márcia Cavallari Nunes, during the online event. Household surveys covered 2,002 homes in 143 municipalities across Brazil from October 1 to 15, 2019. Considering a two-percentage point error margin, the Arab population in Brazil ranges from 9.52 million to 13.69 million.

Respondents claimed to be natives or descendants from 12 out of the 22 existing Arab countries: 27% are from Lebanon, 13% from Syria, 6% from Morocco, 6% from Saudi Arabia, 5% from Egypt, 5% from Palestine, 3% from Algeria, 3% from Jordan, 3% from Libya, 3% from Somalia, 1% from Bahrain, and 1% from Qatar. Twenty-five percent of respondents did not specify their nationalities. “It is important to note that respondents were submitted to four different filters in concluding that they were Arabs or descendants. Those that met the criteria of at least one filter were labeled Arabs or descendants thereof,” Mrs. Nunes of Ibope explained.

Ibope Inteligência’s CEO presented the survey’s numbers during a webinar hosted by the ABCC

Sixty-percent of the Arab community in Brazil are male. Age ranges are evenly distributed, Mrs. Nunes said, with 16% being aged 15 or less, 17% aged 16-24, 15% aged 25-34, 18% aged 35-44 and 15% between the ages of 45 and 54. Those aged 55 or older are 20% of the Arab population in Brazil.

As for religion, the survey found that 43% of Arabs and descendants declare themselves Catholic, 18% are evangelical or Protestant, 16% are Islamic or Muslim, and 23% profess other religions or have no religion.

The Arab population spans the entire Brazilian territory. Thirty-nine percent are in the Southeast, 32% in the Northeast, 17% in the South, 6% in the North, and 5% of Arabs and descendants are in Midwest Brazil.

Income-wise, 45% of the Arab community is in the A and B ranges, with 41% being in the C range, and 13% in the D and E categories of the income spectrum. “Through questions regarding property and educational level we were able to estimate people’s income brackets. The survey showed that Arabs are doing much better than the average of the Brazilian population. The A/B class does not make up 45% of Brazil’s entire population. The bulk of Brazilians fall into the C, D and E categories. This is a highly unique feature of the Arab population in Brazil,” said Nunes.

Islamic and Muslim people are 16% of the Arab population in Brazil, which translates into 1.9 million. This is about 1% of Brazil’s population.

H2R Pesquisas Avançadas director Alessandra Frisso presented in-depth information about the culture, traditions and behavior of the Arab-Brazilian community, with conclusions drawn from 803 interviews. Panelists also included ABCC president Rubens Hannun, Policy Council chair Walid Yazigi, and secretary-general Tamer Mansour, plus the dean of the Council of Arab Ambassadors in Brazil and Ambassador of Palestine, Ibrahim Alzeben, as well as testimonial footage from Arab League secretary-general Ahmed Aboul Gheit. Footage of Arab descendants who have risen to the top of their professions was also shown.

For more on the survey and the virtual event please check out:

Arab descendants: 41% are third-generation immigrants

Ten pct of Brazil’s business leaders are Arab or descendants

Pride in Arab roots ties together generations

Arab Brazilian Chamber announces creation of Arab House

You can watch the full webinar here:

Translated by Gabriel Pomerancblum

Rodrigo Rodrigues/Arab Chamber
Rodrigo Rodrigues/Arab Chamber

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