SHIA MUSLIM POPULATION IN NORTH AMERICA [Part 1]
A statistical report on Shia Muslim population, communities, roots and
Socio-economic status in the U.S.A and Canada.
prepared by : Dr. Youssef A.H. Mroueh
1-Introduction: Statistical Methods
Table -1: World Shia Muslim population (1995)
Table -2: Divisions of' world Muslim population (1995)
2- Roots and origins.
Table -3: Muslim/Shia Muslim Growth in the U.S.A.(1890-1995)
Table -4: Muslim/Shia Muslim Growth in Canada (1890-1995)
3-Present Population of North American Muslims/Shia Muslims
A- Statistical Methods of estimation
B- Sources of error
C- Muslims/Shia Muslims population
Table -5: Estimate of Muslims/Shia Muslims in the USA (1950)
Table -6: Estimate of Muslims/Shia Muslims in the USA (1995)
Table -7: Estimate of Muslims/Shia Muslims in Canada (1950)
Table -8: Estimate of Muslims/Shia Muslims in Canada (1995)
Table -9: U.S. Muslims/Shia Muslims Population (1995)
Table-l0: Canadian Muslims/Shia Muslims Population (1995)
Table-l1: U.S. Muslims/Shia Muslims Population Summary (1995)
Table-12: Canadian Muslims/Shia Muslims Population Summary (1995)
D- Socio-Economic Status of Shia Muslims
Appendix-A: Statistical techniques.
Sampling, regression, correlation and estimation
1) INTRODUCTION: Statistical Methods
Statistics, as a mathematical science, applies a variety of practical theories and techniques to collect, organize, tabulate, summarize, present and analyze numerical data. We can draw valid conclusions and make reasonable decisions, forecasts and estimates on the basis of such statistical analysis.
The first problem of the statistician is to determine what and how much data to collect.
Actually the problem of the census statistician in obtaining an accurate and complete count of the population in a given region at a given period of time under specific demographic and ecological conditions, is similar to the dilemma of the physicist who wishes to count the number of molecule collisions per second in a given volume of gas under given conditions. The problem in both cases is to decide the precise nature of the items to be counted.
The statistician faces a complex problem when, for example, he wishes to take a sample poll or straw vote. It is no simple matter to gauge the size and constitution of the sample that will yield a reasonably accurate prediction concerning the action of the total population.
In order to establish a natural or social phenomenon, the statistician may start with one set of data and gradually modify it in light of experience. In early studies of the growth of populations, future change in size of population was predicted by calculating the excess of births over deaths in any given period. Population statisticians soon recognized that the rate of increase ultimately depended on the number of births, regardless of the number of deaths, so they began to calculate the future population growth on the basis of the number of births each year per thousand population.
When predictions based on this method yielded inaccurate results, statisticians realized that other limiting factors exist in population growth. Because the number of births possible depends on the number of women rather than the total population, and because women bear children during only part of their total life expectancy, the basic datum used to calculate future population size is now the number of live births per 1000 females of child bearing age. The predictive value of this basic datum can be farther refined by combing it with other data on the percentage of women who remain childless because of spinster hood, sterility, contraception, death before the end of child bearing age, and other limiting factors. The excess of births over deaths, therefore, is meaningful only as an indication of gross population growth over a definite period in the past, the number of births per 1000 population is meaningful only as an expression of the proportion of increase during a similar period, and the number of live births per 1000 woman of child bearing age is meaningful for predicting the future size of population.
Therefore, in this report the statistical methods, theories and techniques of sampling, correlation, regression and estimation were applied and used wherever needed.
Pop = Population in thousands
WP = World Population
CP = Continent Population
TWM = Total World Muslims
CM = Continent Muslims
M.P= Muslim Population
Tablt-2: Division of World Muslim population (1995)
Division population %TWM %TWP
Shias 282000000 22.9 4.9
Hanafis 380000000 30.7 6.6
Malikis 305000000 24.7 5.3
Shafeis 190000000 15.4 3.3
Hanbalis 52000000 4.2 0.9
Various * 27000000 2.1 0.5
TWM 1236000000 100 21.5
( TWM = Total World Muslims TWP = Total World Population ).
* This Group includes Kharijites, lsmailis, Zaidis, Druzes, A1awis. Babis, Ahmadiya ...etc...
2- ROOTS AND ORIGINS
Although the original American Shia Muslim, before 1900, came from India and Iran, it is recorded that several hundred Shia Muslim Arabs from Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Bahrain and Eastern Arabia appeared in north America between 1900 and 1914, with most arriving in
1908. A few Muslim Arab from Morocco, Sudan and Yemen also came during these years. Arab Shia Muslim dispersed throughout the states of New York, Massachusetts, Dakota, Minnesota, Montana(USA) and the provinces of Ontario, Manitoba and Alberta (Canada) .
Before the WWl many Shia community members worked as stokers, ditch diggers, lumberjacks, railroad builders and miners, and some migrated to Panama to help construct the canal.. After 1920, many purchased small farms, but others were drawn to the factories of Chicago, Gary, Pittsburgh and Detroit, where an enterprising few opened grocery stores, restaurant, coffee houses and barber shops.
In 1920s a little group of southern Lebanese Shias arrived to Detroit to work at Auto assembly factories, and established the first permanent Shia community Dear born. Between 1920 and 1938 thousands of Shia Muslims from Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Afghanistan and India arrived to America. In the 1940s, hundreds of Shias in metropolitan New York city annually celebrated the Eid Al-Adha (day of sacrifice) in Harlem and Broadway with a dazzling parade. Men donned long robes and turbans or fezzes, and women adorned themselves in brocades and jewels. Hundred of Shias in Dearborn annually commemorate the martyrdom of Imam Al-Hussein (Ashoura) (P.B.UH).
The twelver Shia Khoja groups represent an active part of the Shia population in North America.
Pir Sadr Al-Dine, who can be dated in the later 14th Century (CE), is credited with the conversion of the Khojas from the Hindu caste of the Lohanas and to have laid the foundation of their communal organization, building their first assembly and prior halls (Jamaat Khanahs) and appointing their community leaders (Mukhis). Khojas live chiefly in lower Sind, Cutch, Gujarat, Bombay and in wide Diaspora, particularly in East and South Africa, Arabia, Sri Lanka and Myanmar (Burma).
In early 1970s many Khojas arrived to Canada and the US from east African countries (Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya etc..). They have successfully established their own business and religious organizations.
Shia Muslim immigrants to North America between 1975 and 1995 mainly arrived from the following continental regions:
Muslims Continental Regions Shia Muslims
25% Middle East/North Africa 47%
19% Asia 35%
12% Sub Sahara 9%
9% East Europe 4%
6% Caribbean 3%
29% Afro-American 2%
The US Bureau of Census established a grouping of countries into continental regions of ancestral countries to provide an average assumed percentage of Muslims over the entire region. The following are the details of the main geographical regions:
Geographical regions Countries in regions
1- Middle Eat/l North Afica Algeria, Arabia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Turkey, Yemen, other.
2- Asia Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Japan, India, Kazakhstan, Korea , Gyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, other.
3- Sub Sahara Africa, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zaire, Zanzibar, other.
4- East Europe Albania, Bulgaria, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Ukraine, Yugoslavia, other.
5- Caribbean Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Dutch West Indies, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Trinidad, Virgin Island, other.
3- PRESENT NORTH AMERICAN MUSLIMS/SHIA MUSLIM
It is not an easy task to trace the North American Shia Muslim history and/or population as separate from the main stream of the American Muslim history. It is known that near the end of the 19th century Shia Muslim merchants from the Ottoman empire (Lebanon and Iraq), Bahrain., Iran, and India visited cities in the USA to attend trade fairs, and a handful of Turks and Arabs escorted two shipments of camels purchased by the US Government to facilitate travel in its southwest territory.
The 1871 Canadian census notes 13 Muslims of an unknown origin, but those of 1881 list the number of Muslim as zero which for some reason is not true. (A few white American Christians converted to Islam in 1870s and 1880s). Muhammad Alexander Webb, jeweler, newspaper editor, and diplomat, founded the American Islamic propaganda movement in 1893 after his conversion to Islam while visiting India. He lectured extensively in the US, wrote three books on Islam, published a periodical called the Moslem W world, and established seven circles of the Muslim brotherhood in eastern and mid western cities. He received financial support first from India, then from the Ottoman Sultan, Abdul Hamid II. After Webb died in 1916, his movement slowly disappeared.
Islam, without any doubt, is the fastest growing religion in North America today*.Yet there is no clear data of how many Muslims/Shia Muslims currently reside in USA and Canada. Different controversial estimates have been reported. There has never been a statistically valid survey of Muslims in North America. Mainly because of a lack of reliable unbiased studies on this subject.
Therefore, based on large amount of information and data resources, this report prepared in order to get a verifiable estimate of the Muslims/Shia Muslims population in North America today (1995).
a- Statistical Method of Estimation
The number of Muslims/Shia Muslims immigrants living in USA and Canada in 1995 was estimated from three sets of data:
1- Estimates of the percentage of Muslims/Shia Muslims population in countries around the world.
2- Immigration statistics, categorized by country of origin.
3- Census Statistics, categorized by country of ancestry.
* The current average annual percentage rate of population growth in North America is 1.1, but this rate among Muslims/Shia Muslims communities is the highest. of2.3. At the same time, the net reproductive rate (NRR) found to be the highest among the Muslims/Shia Muslims communities. The Canadian Hospitals' reports revealed that there is one Muslim new born baby among each five new born babies. (See Dr. Daood Hamdani - Remarks on Islam in Canada, Lecture at. the House of Commons, Ottawa. Canada May 2. 1996.
The mathematical products (1) and (2) plus (1) and (3) were evaluated from each country or ancestral region around the world. These products found positively correlated
and highly related, represented a 1995 estimate of the number of Muslims/Sia Muslims in the United State and Canada from a given country or region of ancestry, and the number of same how immigrated to the US and Canada in 1990s from that country, respectively. The sum of these two figures produced the 1995 estimated American population of Muslim/Shia Muslim immigrants from a given country.
A format, established by US Bureau of census, by which countries of ancestry are grouped into subset of continental region (see page 5). These groupings were used to estimate Muslims/Shia Muslims population within geographical region by cumulating individual estimates from each country within the region. The Bureau has also broken down census data by ancestry into geographical region within the United States. These statistics, together with the percentage of Muslims/Shia Muslims population in countries around the world, were used to construct estimate of the same population in each state and province in the USA and Canada.
First, immigration and birth data was collected, tallied, organized and analyzed. Then, immigration and population growth trends were evaluated and determined by the applicable statistical techniques. Immigration statistics by country of origin from 1951 to 1995 at three year intervals were used, and estimates of the percentage of Muslims/Shia Muslims population in each of the world countries were determined and calculated. All available information resources on this subject were consulted, and the useful data collected, analyzed and tabulated.
b- Sources of Error:
This report assumes that the proportion of Muslims/Shia Muslims in a given a given country is equal to the proportion of Muslims/Shia Muslims currently residing in the United States and Canada with ancestry from that country. Although this assumption is supported by positive correlation coefficients connected the samples of the residents and immigrants of each specific country in the continental region, it was found that this assumption represents the largest potential source of error. The proportion may vary due to economic, political, cultural or social factors. Muslims/Shia Muslims immigration may be either exaggerated or minimized for the same reason. This is particularly true for those year in which a very large proportion of Muslims or non Muslims immigrated to the United States from a given country relative to the proportion of Muslims/Shia Muslims reported in that country. The percentage of Muslims/Shia Muslims living in any given country is itself an estimate, assumed to be constant over time, and may further contribute to error. Therefore, all potential errors reported by the Bureau of census are relevant to this report as well and the statistical correction factors were applied and used whenever such corrections were found to be a necessary requirement
c- Muslims/Shia Muslims population
The brief estimation of the present Muslims/Shia Muslims population of the US and Canada is shown in tables 5,6,7 and 8. The datum estimate of Muslims/Shia Muslims for
1950 determined for US and Canada. It was found 960,000 for Muslims versus 144,000 for Shia Muslims in US, and 172,430 versus 31,000 in Canada. After adding the accumulated and corrected immigration and birth figures for the period of 1951-95, the estimate of total Muslim population (1995) in USA found to be 9,609,000 or 3.6% of the total population of 267 million.
Shia Muslims are estimated to be 1,962,000 or 0.7% of the total population and represent 20.4% of the total Muslims community in USA Reports on foreign student in North America showed that over 1 million Muslim foreign students now attend universities in the USA and Canada.
The Shia Muslims as well as the rest of the American Muslim community are
geographically concentrated in four regions:
1- 47.2% (Shia 43.3%) in North East (23 states - ME, NH, VT, MA, RI CT, NY,
NJ, P A, DE, NID, DC, VA, WV, OH, KY, MI, IN, WI, IL, MN, IA,
NM & MO).
2- 21.5% (Shia 21%) in North East (10 states - NC, SC, GA, FL, TN, AL, MS, AR
LA & PR).
3- 5.8% (Shia 6.6%) in North West (9 states - AK, ND, SD, NE, NT, WY, ill,
4- 25.5% (Shia 29.1%) in South West (10 states - Ill, KS, OK, TX, CO, NM, UT, AZ,
The application of the same statistical methods and techniques revealed that the total Muslim population (1995) in Canada is 1,111,000 or 3.9% of the total population of 28,680,000. Shia Muslims are 256,000 or 0.89% of the total population, and represent 23% of the total Muslims community in Canada. The Shia Muslims as well as the rest of the Canadian Muslim community are geographically concentrated in three regions:
1- 11.8% (Shia 10.9%) in Eastern (4 provinces - NF, NS, PE & NB).
2- 56.7% (Shia 59.7%) in Central (2 provinces - PQ - 22.5%, ON - 29.5%).
3- 31.5% (Shia 29.4%) in Western (4 provinces -MA, SA, AL & BC).