Sri Lankan Sinhalese in North America

Sri Lankan Sinhalese in North America
Sri Lanka, formerly known as Ceylon, is an island located in the Indian Ocean, approximately 20 miles off the southeastern tip of India. The name “Sri Lanka” means “resplendent land.” The majority of the population in Sri Lanka, around 74 percent, is Sinhalese, who predominantly follow the Theravada Buddhist tradition. The Tamils and Moors are Muslim with small percentages of all ethnicities following Christ.

The history of human habitation in Sri Lanka dates back over 2000 years. In more recent times, the country has been ruled by various foreign powers, including Portugal, the Netherlands, and Britain. In 1931, Britain granted limited self-government to Ceylon, and in 1948, the country gained independence and became known as Ceylon. The name was later changed to the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka in 1972.

Since gaining independence, Sri Lanka has experienced hostilities between the Sinhalese majority and the Tamil minority. This conflict led to a civil war that took place from 1983 to 2009. The majority of uprisings and casualties occurred in the northeastern part of the country, where the Tamil population is concentrated.

The immigration of Sinhalese people from Sri Lanka to North America began in the 1950s, with the numbers increasing significantly since the mid-1980s due to the ongoing civil war and economic challenges in the country. Today, the Sinhalese diaspora in North America consists of approximately 72,000 people, most of whom live in Toronto and New York City.

Education holds great importance in Sri Lankan culture, and this value is also reflected among the Sinhalese diaspora in North America. Sinhalese individuals’ educational and economic levels in North America are among the highest within the Asian diaspora. The caste system, which is still present in Sri Lanka, also influences the composition of the diaspora, with a majority of those who have settled in North America coming from higher castes.

Family plays a significant role in the lives of the Sinhalese, both in Sri Lanka and in their new homes. It is common for unmarried adult children to continue living with their parents. Additionally, the pursuit of higher education often results in individuals marrying later in life due to the time commitment required for obtaining a college education.

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Religious Life

The majority of Sinhalese in Sri Lanka follow Theravada Buddhism, which is considered the state religion. However, due to the historical and cultural ties between Sri Lanka and India, Buddhism in Sri Lanka has been influenced by Hinduism. It is common to find temples in Sri Lanka that have shrines dedicated to Hindu gods, reflecting this influence. Additionally, indigenous peoples’ religious beliefs have also impacted the religious landscape of Sri Lanka.

During the periods of Portuguese, Dutch, and British rule in Sri Lanka, Christian missionaries arrived in the country. As a result, there is a small number of Christians in Sri Lanka, with the majority residing in the northeastern part of the country. Sri Lankan Sinhalese in Sri Lanka and in the diaspora remain an unreached people group.

In the context of the Sinhalese diaspora, the New York Buddhist Vihara was established in 1981 and relocated to its current location in Parkside Hills, Queens, in 2000. This Vihara serves as a Buddhist temple and meditation center. Additionally, the Staten Island Buddhist Vihara Meditation Center and Healing Garden was established in 1999, primarily serving the community in what is now known as Little Sri Lanka on Staten Island.

The Toronto Mah Vihara, formed in 1978 in Scarborough, is Canada’s oldest Sinhalese Buddhist temple. The West-End Buddhist Centre, founded in 1992, is prominent in Mississauga.

New York has the largest community of Sinhalese individuals outside of Sri Lanka. However, there is no known evangelical work specifically targeted toward the Sinhalese community in New York.

These are the Sri Lankan Sinhalese Buddhist communities in North America most in need of gospel witness

People GroupMetropolitan AreaPopulation SizeConcentrated AreaPriority Score
AfghanLos Angeles16,719Irvine57
AfghanMontreal10,805Saint-Martin (Laval)59
AfghanNew York9,871Flushing (Queens)49
AfghanSacramento21,673Elk Grove69
AfghanSan Diego7,189El Cajon58
AfghanSan Francisco32,142Fremont69
AfghanVancouver7,980New Westminster51
AfghanWashington D.C.33,236Springfield73
Afghan Hindu/SikhNew York6,000Hicksville (Long Island)86
Albanian MuslimBoston15,903Revere53
Albanian MuslimChicago11,230Berkeley/Elmhurst49
Albanian MuslimDetroit19,949Sterling Heights55
Albanian MuslimNew York48,123Pelham Parkway (Bronx)65
Albanian MuslimPhiladelphia6,857Northeast35
Algerian ArabMontreal59,585Little Maghreb71
BambaraNew York5,000Harlem69
BangladeshiDallas Fort Worth6,355Irving47
BangladeshiLos Angeles7,362Little Bangladesh46
BangladeshiMontreal10,675Parc Extension48
BangladeshiNew York84,099Jamaica (Queens)41
BangladeshiToronto36,670Danforth Village47
BangladeshiWashington D.C.11,798York Town (Arlington)48
Belzer JewishNew York12,51886
Bobover JewishNew York23,50990
BosniakBowling Green5,000Morgantown Road60
BosniakDes Moines10,000Merle Hay63
BosniakGrand Rapids10,000Kentwood63
BosniakNew York12,000Astoria (Queens)63
BosniakSt. Louis70,000Mehlville79
BosniakUtica5,000Bleecker St.60
Breslov JewishNew York5,00086
Bukharan JewishNew York60,00074
Chabad Lubavitch JewishNew York27,10391
Egyptian ArabBoston5,602Dudley Square23
Egyptian ArabChicago5,784Hickory Hills24
Egyptian ArabHouston7,947Katy32
Egyptian ArabLos Angeles23,765Anaheim40
Egyptian ArabMontreal9,167Saint-Laurent27
Egyptian ArabNew York52,324Astoria (Queens)46
Egyptian ArabSan Francisco6,281Oakland27
Egyptian ArabToronto11,637Mississauga42
Egyptian ArabWashington D.C.9,633Lanier Heights24
Fouta TooroCincinnati5,000Lockland75
Fouta TooroNew York7,600Bed-Stuy (Brooklyn)78
Fulbe FutaNew York5,000Morrisania (Bronx77
Gerer JewishNew York8,79184
Gorsky-Kavkazi JewishNew York10,00089
GujaratiAtlanta26,019Big Creek52
GujaratiBoston16,736Town of Acton59
GujaratiCharlotte7,465Mallard Creek46
GujaratiDallas Fort Worth19,822Plano46
GujaratiEdmonton6,730Strathcona Industrial Park52
GujaratiHouston25,456Sugar Land 61
GujaratiLos Angeles25,666Woodbury44
GujaratiMontreal6,970Dollard-Des Ormeaux55
GujaratiNew York125,454Edison (NJ)70
GujaratiSan Francisco29,547Fremont52
Gujarati Vancouver7,075South Vancouver58
GujaratiWashington D.C.21,491Calverton60
Indian Hindi Atlanta40,586Big Creek36
Indian HindiAustin14,774Walsh Creek47
Indian HindiBoston36,888Town of Acton55
Indian Hindi Calgary20,232Castleridge37
Indian HindiCharlotte11,890Mecklenburg41
Indian HindiChicago50,852West Ridge "Little India"41
Indian HindiCincinnati7,450Clifton Heights47
Indian HindiCleveland5,397Glenwillow48
Indian HindiColumbus, OH11,924Polaris36
Indian HindiDallas Fort Worth54,777Frisco32
Indian HindiDenver7,422Sedalia52
Indian Hindi Detroit17,706Troy 54
Indian HindiEdmonton18,855SE Edmonton49
Indian HindiHartford9,534Rocky Hill49
Indian HindiHouston37,843Sugar Land36
Indian HindiIndianapolis6,429Wayne Township51
Indian HindiKansas City5,455Overland Park51
Indian HindiKitchener8,593West Mount36
Indian HindiLos Angeles59,692Artesia35
Indian HindiMiami12,747Plantation55
Indian HindiTwin Cities7,900Edina50
Indian HindiMontreal15,417Parc Extension56
Indian HindiNew York179,353Jersey City, Edison46
Indian HindiOrlando12,718Williamsburg 50
Indian HindiOttawa8,658Napean/Westboro55
Indian Hindi Philadelphia25,586King of Prussia56
Indian HindiPhoenix16,149Chandler-Kirby Estates55
Indian HindiPittsburgh6,861Marshall Township48
Indian HindiPortland7,433Bethany43
Indian HindiRaleigh11,417Morrisville45
Indian HindiSacramento14,943Valley Hi/North Laguna44
Indian HindiSt.Louis6,101Ballwin44
Indian HindiSan Diego11,739Miramar49
Indian HindiSan Francisco153,853Fremont43
Indian HindiSeattle31,712Bellevue31
Indian HindiTampa7,828Brandon52
Indian HindiToronto150,062Etobicoke45
Indian HindiVancouver49,718South Vancouver37
Indian Hindi Washington D.C.66,808Ellicott city47
Indian HindiWinnipeg10,649Colony (Little India)53
IndonesianLos Angeles7,500San Bernardino29
Iraqi ArabAtlanta5,000Clarkston38
Iraqi ArabAustin7,963Pflugerville43
Iraqi Arab Chicago11,476Northbrook53
Iraqi Arab Dallas Fort Worth11,319Richardson41
Iraqi Arab Detroit68,626East Dearborn57
Iraqi ArabHouston11,914Mid-West41
Iraqi ArabLos Angeles5,771Glendale39
Iraqi ArabNew York8,443Astoria (Queens)47
Iraqi Arab Phoenix19,457Northern Village43
Iraqi ArabSan Antonio5,180Alamo Heights38
Iraqi Arab San Diego25,923El Cajon57
Iraqi ArabSan Francisco7,913Modesto39
Iraqi Arab Toronto10,732Vaughan45
Iraqi Arab Washington D.C.9,685Lanier Heights42
Israeli Sabra JewishLos Angeles18,885Pico Robertson & Fairfax60
Israeli Sabra JewishMiami12,299Plantation54
Israeli Sabra JewishNew York36,72066
Israeli Sabra JewishSan Francisco9,384Sunnyvale51
Israeli Sabra JewishToronto9,750North York49
Jordanian ArabChicago9,519Bridgeview40
Jordanian ArabDetroit7,132East Dearborn37
Jordanian ArabLos Angeles7,184Anaheim33
Jordanian ArabNew York8,192Astoria (Queens)25
JulaNew York5,000Harlem69
Kabyle BerberMontreal29,174Longue-Pointe49
KazakhNew York5,969Brighton Beach (Brooklyn)50
KurdDallas Fort Worth6,500South Arlington52
KurdNashville15,000Elysian Fields53
KyrgyzChicago15,000Des Plaines71
KyrgyzNew York5,000Brighton Beach (Brooklyn)68
Lebanese ArabBoston22,539Somerville35
Lebanese ArabChicago5,681Bridgeview47
Lebanese ArabCleveland6,012West Cleveland28
Lebanese ArabDallas Fort Worth5,671Richardson27
Lebanese ArabDetroit33,099East Dearborn42
Lebanese ArabHouston6,622Mid West27
Lebanese ArabLos Angeles18,893Monterey Park35
Lebanese ArabMiami7,622Upper Eastside47
Lebanese ArabMontreal20,607Saint-Laurent39
Lebanese ArabNew York20,901Paterson34
Lebanese ArabOttawa8,855South Ottawa31
Lebanese ArabToronto7,595Mississauga32
Lebanese ArabWashington D.C.9,239Woodley Park 33
MandinkaNew York5,000Highbridge (Bronx)81
ManinkaNew York5,000Concourse (Bronx)76
Persian Jewish (Mashadi)New York5,00088
Moroccan ArabBoston12,602Malden46
Moroccan Arab Chicago5,000Bridgeview44
Moroccan ArabDetroit6,660Hamtramck37
Moroccan ArabLos Angeles7,272Central LA-Beverly Wood44
Moroccan Arab Miami9,651Upper Eastside47
Moroccan Arab Montreal60,775Little Maghreb72
Moroccan ArabNew York41,356Astoria (Queens)57
Moroccan Arab Philadelphia6,114Center City41
Moroccan Arab Washington D.C.28,279Brockwood50
Moroccan JewishToronto5,000North York83
Moroccan JewishMontreal10,000Hampstead64
Indo-Pak MuslimsAtlanta26,175Roswell40
Indo-Pak MuslimsAustin9,336Northwest Austin39
Indo-Pak MuslimsBoston20,368Cambridge44
Indo-Pak MuslimsCalgary17,785Castleridge44
Indo-Pak MuslimsChicago57,031Skokie36
Indo-Pak MuslimsDallas Fort Worth43,274Plano47
Indo-Pak MuslimsDetroit19,726Canton37
Indo-Pak MuslimsEdmonton8,815Blue Quill36
Indo-Pak MuslimsHouston54,218Sugarland47
Indo-Pak MuslimsKitchener5,735Cambridge39
Indo-Pak MuslimsLos Angeles43,766Central LA37
Indo-Pak MuslimsMiami12,668Miramar-Pimebrook Pines50
Indo-Pak MuslimsMontreal10,990Parc Extension47
Indo-Pak MuslimsNew York171,011Midwood (Brooklyn)50
Indo-Pak MuslimsOrlando7,808Florida Center48
Indo-Pak MuslimsOttawa10,990Sandy Hill46
Indo-Pak MuslimsPhiladelphia25,830Delran34
Indo-Pak MuslimsSacramento14,165North Oak Park45
Indo-Pak MuslimsSan Francisco74,602Diamond Heights45
Indo-Pak MuslimsSeattle17,439Meridian42
Indo-Pak MuslimsToronto134,195East York51
Indo-Pak MuslimsWashington D.C.68,892Fairfax couty, Mt. Vernon48
Indo-Pak MuslimsVancouver10,495Burnaby and Surrey47
Palestinian ArabChicago20,612Bridgeview42
Palestinian ArabCleveland7,016North Olmstead37
Palestinian ArabDallas Fort Worth6,126Richardson38
Palestinian ArabDetroit6,177Livonia33
Palestinian ArabHouston6,534Mid West35
Palestinian ArabLos Angeles13,593Anaheim40
Palestinian ArabNew York16,253South Paterson (NJ)42
Palestinian ArabSan Francisco10,855Soma42
Palestinian ArabToronto10,271Mississauga41
Palestinian ArabWashington D.C.7,223Lanier Heights38
PersianDallas Fort Worth13,939Plano21
PersianHouston14,742Woodlake/Briar Meadow21
PersianLos Angeles127,713Tehrangeles43
PersianMontreal23,705Notre Dame de Grâce24
PersianNew York30,520Great Neck (Long Island)33
PersianPortland6,672Pearl District22
Persian Sacramento8,100El Dorado Hills17
PersianSan Diego19,882La Jolla21
PersianSan Francisco50,170San Mateo25
PersianToronto88,195North York40
PersianVancouver45,815West Vancouver23
Persian Washington D.C.30,426Tysons Corner26
Punjabi SikhAbbotsford28,235Clearbrook49
Punjabi SikhBakersfield, CA10,000Panama56
Punjabi SikhCalgary56,055Castleridge61
Punjabi SikhChicago9,137West Ridge58
Punjabi SikhDallas Fort Worth12,285Irving51
Punjabi SikhDetroit8,733Canton56
Punjabi SikhEdmonton44,440Southeast Edmonton67
Punjabi SikhFresno8,732Muscatel47
Punjabi SikhHamilton9,590Grayside51
Punjabi SikhHouston8,964Willowbrook51
Punjabi SikhIndianapolis8,789McCordsville55
Punjabi SikhLos Angeles32,347Buena Park59
Punjabi SikhMontreal22,990Parc Extension58
Punjabi SikhNew York78,408Richmond Hill (Queens)69
Punjabi SikhPhiladelphia10,266Millbourne55
Punjabi SikhSacramento52,754South Sacramento55
Punjabi SikhSan Francisco100,118Fremont77
Punjabi SikhSeattle24,757Kent68
Punjabi SikhToronto244,240Brampton75
Punjabi SikhVancouver222,160Surrey65
Punjabi SikhWashington D.C.20,886Fairfax48
Punjabi SikhWinnipeg33,345The Maples45
Pupa JewishNew York8,82590
Sanzer JewishNew York7,00688
Satmar JewishNew York156,74499
Saudi ArabChicago5,470Dekalb County74
Saudi ArabDallas Fort Worth5,457Denton74
Saudi ArabHouston5,420River Oaks74
Saudi ArabLos Angeles5,497Irvine74
Saudi ArabNew York6,573Bayridge74
Saudi ArabWashington D.C.6,606Vienna74
Skver JewishNew York17,67891
SomaliCalgary6,450Northeast Calgary63
SomaliColumbus, OH45,000Northland79
SomaliTwin Cities80,000Cedar-Riverside73
SomaliNashville5,000Southeast Nashville61
Somali Ottawa25,330Ridgemont75
Somali San Diego15,000City Heights72
Somali BantuColumbus, OH5,000West side85
Somali BantuToronto6,000Etobicoke86
SoninkeNew York15,000Highbridge (Bronx)85
Sri Lankan SinhaleseLos Angeles5,259Reseda40
Sri Lankan SinhaleseNew York7,934Tompkinsville (SI)32
Sri Lankan SinhaleseToronto16,300Scarborough38
Syrian ArabsBoston7,378Quincy36
Syrian ArabsChicago6,902Rogers Park35
Syrian ArabsDetroit6,448East Dearborn36
Syrian ArabsLos Angeles11,474Anaheim37
Syrian ArabsMontreal16,248Ahuntsic-Cartierville39
Syrian ArabsNew York18,151Bay Ridge (Brooklyn)38
Syrian JewishNew York75,00096
Persian Jewish (Tehrani)Los Angeles40,00088
Persian Jewish (Tehrani)New York20,00086
TamilAustin10,854North Austin50
TamilDallas Fort Worth30,905Frisco41
TamilLos Angeles14,659Arcadia37
TamilMontreal14,035Pierrefonds - Dollard37
TamilNew York46,368Bridgewater44
TamilSan Francisco56,722South Bay44
TamilTwin Cities6,643Hopkins45
TamilWashington D.C.22,860Montgomery County, MD42
TeluguAustin15,711Cedar Park44
TeluguColumbus, OH9,429Dublin48
TeluguDallas Fort Worth47,850Irving42
TeluguLos Angeles13,952Irvine36
TeluguMontreal14,035Pierrefonds - Dollard53
TeluguNew York59,876South Brunswick, NJ38
TeluguSan Francisco73,916Sunnyvale46
TeluguSt. Louis7,187Maryland Heights41
TeluguTampa7,489Temple Terrace56
TeluguTwin Cities5,669Eden Prairie43
TeluguWashington D.C.40,764Ashburn49
ThaiChicago8,240Albany Park29
ThaiDallas Fort Worth5,389City Place19
ThaiLas Vegas5,480Paradise25
ThaiLos Angeles32,211East Hollywood (Thai Town)20
ThaiNew York12,916Elmhurst (Queens)22
ThaiSan Francisco10,497Civic Center29
ThaiSeattle6,356University District24
ThaiWashington D.C.10,324Shaw27
TibetanTwin Cities5,000Northeast70
TibetanNew York13,000Jackson Heights (Queens)77
TibetanToronto8,000South Parkdale74
Tunisian ArabMontreal18,970Little Maghreb74
TurkAtlanta5,122Sandy Springs56
TurkBoston6,462North Brookline57
TurkChicago7,361Mount Prospect56
TurkHouston5,324Memorial Park56
TurkLos Angeles11,500Culver City58
TurkMiami8,102Miami Beach56
TurkNew York41,367South Paterson (NJ)57
TurkPhiladelphia7,179Riverside (NJ)57
TurkSan Francisco12,810Sunnyvale59
TurkWashington D.C.12,918Fairfax 59
UyghurWashington D.C.5,000Fairfax County65
UzbekNew York32,999Brighton Beach (Brooklyn)37
Vizhnitz JewishNew York18,38290
WolofNew York20,000Harlem81
Yemeni ArabDetroit25,000Hamtramck72
Yemeni ArabNew York20,000Bay Ridge (Brooklyn)72
Yemeni ArabSan Francisco10,000Oakland62
Yeshivish JewishChicago5,894West Rogers Park68
Yeshivish JewishLos Angeles13,600Hancock Park74
Yeshivish JewishMiami10,726North Miami Beach72
Yeshivish JewishNew York120,00091
Yeshivish JewishToronto16,000York75
Yeshivish JewishWashington D.C.9,921Glen (Baltimore)70
Figures for matrix score formula (don't delete)
Helpful resources for sharing Jesus with Sri Lankan Sinhalese Buddhists
Bible.isAudio and written Bible in
JESUS FilmJESUS film in Sinhala.Jesus-film-thumbnail
Magdalena FilmJESUS Film adaptation with honor/shame theme. Particularly helpful sharing with women. In Sinhala.magdalena-thumbnail
Global Recording NetworkAudio Bible stories and resources in
Got QuestionsBible questions answered in
Bible for ChildrenAudio and Video Biblical Resources for Children in SinhalaBible for Children
Interested in reaching Sri Lankan Sinhalese Buddhists? Have a suggested edit or want to help? Contact us!

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    100,000 Yemenis

    Statistics Canada 2021 counted 8,115 people whose ethnic origin was Yemeni. The 2019 American Community Survey counted 58,627 people born in Yemen now living in the United States. Counting U.S.-born children and typical undercounts of Arabs in the census, it is safe to assume there are at least 100,000 Yemenis in North America. The Wikipedia article on Yemeni Americans claims "there are an estimated 100,000-200,000 Yemenis living in the United States as of 2018,” but no source is given for that statistic.

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    350,000 Bosniaks

    The Congress of Bosniaks of North America estimate 300,000 Bosniaks live in the United States and 50,000 in Canada.

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    300,000 Somalis

    The America Community Survey 2019 estimated 182,951 people reporting Somali ancestry in the United States. Statistics Canada 2021 estimated 65,555 people o Somali ethnic origin in Canada. Census figures tend to undercount groups like Somalis, who are suspicious of government authorities and census takers. Community estimates of Somalis in the Greater Toronto and Edmonton areas alone number 100,000. An estimated 300,000 Somalis in North America is a conservative estimate, and their population number could be much higher.

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    900,000to 1,500,000 Sikhs

    In the 2021 Canada census, 771,790 Sikhs were estimated to live in Canada. The United States does not count religious affiliation in its census, and the language of Punjabi is also spoken by Hindus and Muslims, which makes "language spoken at home" a difficult category for measuring Sikhs. However, the 2012 Pew Religious Survey indicates 5% of Indian Americans are Sikh. The 2019 American Community Survey estimated 4,240,466 Asian Indians living in the United States, and 5% of that population equals 212,023. The Sikh America Coalition, however, estimates 500,000 Sikhs living in the United States. Therefore, low estimates of Sikhs in North America are around 900,000 with high estimates around 1.5 million.

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    400,000 Afghans

    The diversity of the people groups who identify as Afghans contributes to the difficulty of using census information to estimate the number of Afghans in North America. The American Community Survey 2019 counted 156,434 people in the United States with "Afghan" ancestry. However, some Afghans would identify their ancestry as Tajik, Pashtun, and so forth. Statistics Canada 2021 counted 96,810 people with Ethnic Origin as Afghan, 9,825 as Pashtun, and 5,890 as Tajik. So, adding those numbers together gives a good idea of a low estimate of the number of Afghans in Canada. Allied Media Corporation, which has worked extensively with the Afghan American Community, estimates 300,000 Afghans live in the United States. With adding Canada's number, a reasonable estimate of Afghans in North America is 400,000 people.

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    Estimated 40,000 Kurds in the United States and 23,000Kurds in Canada

    A 2019 BBC article estimated 40,000 Kurds in the United States, as did a much earlier NBC News Report. A 2009 Kurdish Herald aricle estimated 50,000 Iraqi Kurds were living in the United States. The estimates of Kurds we have found in various cities seem to coincide with the more conservative 40,000 number. However, many Kurds from Turkey mix into the Turkish population and are harder to identify. Statistics Canada 2021 estimated 23,130 people in Canada had a Kurdish Ethnic Origin.

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    Between 290,000 and 350,000 Turks living in North America

    The Turkish Coalition of America gives a conservative community estimate of 350,000 Turks in the United States. According to American Community Survey 2019, 212,489 people with Turkish ancestry were estimated to live in the United States. Statistics Canada 2021 reported 76,745 of Turkish ethnic origin.


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    Pakistan makes up the largest single country of origin of Muslims in North America, with 472,610 (2019 ACS 5-yr Asian Alone) reside in the United States and 303,260 (Statistics Canada 2021) in Canada.

    Statistically, it is estimated that 370,000 Indo-Pak Muslims in North America originated of Indian descent. 399,575 reside in the United States and 76,143 reside in Canada. A Pew Research study found that 10% of Indian descent in North America identify as Muslim. It is by using this 10% and total Indian population numbers that the Indo-Pak Muslims from India are calculated.

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    community estimates the diaspora to be around 66,000 Wolof

    According to the American Community Survey and the Senegalese-American Association estimates listed in articles in previous years, it is safe to assume there are at least 60,000 Wolof in North America. The previous population and community estimates have listed the Wolof population around 20,000 within NYC and Statistics Canada 2021 estimated the Wolof population at 5,000 for Canada. Wolof also live in Chicago, Seattle, Raleigh, Montreal, etc. Information from lists the population around 66,000. 

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    Approximately 940,000 Gujaratis call North America home

    20% of all Indians in the United States are from Gujarat state. According to the 2019 5-yr table ACS Census Data, there are 4,240,466 Indians in the United States. Statistically, there are approximately 848,093 Gujaratis in the United States. The 2021 Statistics Canada indicates that 92,005 speak Gujarati in the home. 

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    The U.S. Census American Community Survey 2019 estimated 3,995,755 people with Asian Indian ancestry in the U.S. Pew Research indicates that 36% of all Indian descent population in the U.S. identify as Hindi. Therefore the estimate of Asian Indians who identify as Hindi is 1,438,472. Statistics Canada 2021 counted 761,425 Hindi Knowledge of Language in Canada. According to several articles, approximately 55% of Indian Hindi Speakers consider Hindi their second or third choice of language. Based on this research, 45% of the total KOL are native Hindi speakers. The number from Statistics Canada 2021 was multiplied by this percentage to calculate the Canadian population of 342,641 people. There are approximately 1,781,000 Asian Indians who identify as Hindi in North America. Using census information instead of community estimates helps compare populations of people groups in various cities. However, the population is likely larger than this number.

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    According to the 2019 American Community Survey 1-yr Place of Birth, 65,126 Uzbek people are estimated to live in the United States. The Canadian census does not list Uzbekistan as a place of birth, but according to 2021 Statistics Canada 3,290 claim Knowledge of Language. Using census information instead of community estimates helps compare populations of people groups in various cities. However, the population is likely larger than the total of 68,416.

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    The 2019 American Community Survey 1-yr Place of Birth table indicates there are 132,477 born in Israel living in the US. The 2021 Statistics Canada indicates there are 35,345 people of Israeli ethnic origin. Community estimates are often much higher than these official census counts.

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    312,000 Moroccan Arabs

    Statistics Canada 2021 counted 99,980 people whose ethnic origin is Moroccan. There are around 10,000 Moroccan Jews in Montreal which is likely included in this number, resulting in 89,980 Moroccan Muslims. The 2019 American Community Survey counted 118,125 people with Moroccan ancestry in the United States. According to the Arab American Institute Foundation, Arab populations are undercounted by 79.56 percent in the US. Using this percentage and the number from the American Community Survey, the total living in the United States is 212,105. The Moroccan population in North America is approximately 312,000.

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    approximately 344,000

    According to the Arab American Institute Foundation, Arab populations are undercounted by 79.56 percent in the United States. This percentage and the total Arab population from the American Community Survey 2019 1-year estimates there are 317,000 people of Iraqi origin in the US. The 2021 Statistics Canada reported 59,300 Iraqis in Canada. According to the 2011 National Household Survery, 46% of the people of Iraqi origin in Canada are Muslim resulting in an estimated 27,278 Iraqi Arabs in Canada. Unfortunately, it is difficult to determine the exact number of Iraqi Arabs in North America. Actual numbers are likely much higher.

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    80,000Tunisian Arabs

    Statistics Canada 2021 counted 30,465 people whose ethnic origin was Tunisian. The 2019 American Community Survey does not count Tunisians.  Based on this article published in a Tunisian magazine, the number of Tunisians living in North America in 2016 was 44,195. We assume that the number has increased since then and approximate the number of Tunisian Arabs living in North America to be around 80,000.

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    The 2019 American Community Survey counted 139,398 people of Palestinian ancestry. A report by the Arab American Institute showed that the Arab populations in the US are undercounted by 179.56% and approximately 67% are Muslim resulting in approximately 168,000 living in the US. Statistics Canada 2021 counted 45,905 people whose ethnic origin was Palestinian. 

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    221,000 Thai in North America

    Statistics Canada 2021 counted 22,275 people whose ethnic origin was Thai. The 2021 American Community Survey 5-year Asian Alone counted 198,964 Thais now living in the United States. Counting U.S.-born children and typical undercounts of Thai in the census, there are over 400,000 Thai in North America. This Pew Research article estimates 343,000 Thai in the US as of 2019.

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    247,000 Arabs of Egyptian origin in North America

    According to the Arab American Institute Foundation, Arab populations are undercounted by 79.56 percent in the United States. According to Pew Research approximately 40% of Epyptians in the US are Muslim. Approximately 44% of Canadian Egyptians are Muslims. These percentages and the total Arab population from the American Community Survey 2019 1-year estimates and 2021 Statistics Canada provide the most accurate estimate while excluding Egyptian Coptics. There are approximately 201,000 Egyptian Arabs in the US and 46,000 in Canada.

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    nearly 600,000

    Statistics Canada 2021 counted 200,465 people whose ethnic origin was Iranian. The 2019 American Community Survey counted 385,473 people of ethnic Persians living in the United States. Using census information instead of community estimates helps compare populations of people groups in various cities. However, the p is likely larger than the number given.

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    12,000 Somali Bantus

    In the late 1990s and 2000s, the US resettled around 12,000 Somali Bantu from refugee camps through the UNCHR program. The population is likely much higher than 12,000 since many of the refugees were young and have since started families of their own.

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    193,000 Albanian Muslims

    The 2019 1-year United States American Community Survey census data reported 199,908 people reporting Albanian ancestry. Statistics Canada 2021 census data reported 41,625 people indicating Albanian ethnic origin. These numbers were multiplied by 0.80 to get a more accurate number of those identifying as Muslim. Census data provides a baseline population estimate, but numbers are likely much higher.

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    344,000 Lebanese Muslims

    According to the Arab American Institute Foundation, Arab populations are undercounted by 79 percent in the United States. According to Canadian Arab Institute Research, approximately 32% of the Lebanese population is Muslim. These percentages and the 2019 American Community Survey and the total Lebanese population from the American Community Survey 2019 1-year Ancestry table and 2021 Statistics Canada provide the most accurate estimates while excluding the number of Lebanese Christians. There are approximately 276,814 Lebanese Muslims in the US and 67,394 in Canada.

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    According to the Arab American Institute Foundation, Arab populations in the US are undercounted by 79 percent in the United States. Prior to 2012, approximately 70% of Syrian immigrants to North America were Christian. Since 2012, the majority of Syrians coming to North America are Muslim refugees. Using these percentages and information from the American Community Survey and Statistics Canada provides the most accurate estimates while excluding the number of Syrian Christians. There are approximately 157,203 Syrian Arab Muslims in the US and 63,921 in Canada.  


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    over 177,000

    Statistics Canada 202 indicated 75,245 people reported ethnic origin was Bangladeshi. The 2019 5-yr American Community Survey Asian Alone table reported 177,778 Bangladeshis now living in the United States. Using census information instead of community estimates helps compare populations of people groups in various cities. However, the number of Bangladeshis in North America is likley highter than the number listed.

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    55,800 Jordanian Arabs

    Statistics Canada 2021 counted 13,225 people whose ethnic origin is Jordanian. Approximately 44% of Jordanians in Canada are Muslim resulting in around 5,800 Jordanian Muslims. The 2019 American Community Survey counted 93,085 people with Jordanian ancestry. According to the Arab American Institute Foundation, Arab populations undercounted by 79.56 percent. Using this percentage and the number from the American Community Survey, the total living in the United States is 50,000. The Jordanian Muslim population in North America is approximately 55,800.



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    approximately 72,000people

    The U.S. Census American Community Survey 2021 (Asian Alone) estimated 51,735 people with Sri Lankan ancestry in the U.S. According to Joshua Project, approximately 75% of Sri Lankans in the US are Sinhalese. Therefore the estimate of Sri Lankans who identify as Sinhalese is 38,418. Statistics Canada 2021 counted 33,050 with Knowledge of Language in Canada. Approximately 72,000 Sri Lankans identify as Sinhalese in North America. Using census information instead of community estimates helps compare populations of people groups in various cities. However, the population is likely larger than this number.

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    52,000 Moroccan Jews

    Statistics Canada 2021 estimates that there are 282,015 people who claim a Jewish ethnic origin. The US Community Survey does not include Jewish as an ethnicity. Based on several articles, the Moroccan Jewish community in North America is estimated at 52,000. Approximately 27,000 live in Canada and 25,000 in the United States.

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    7,250,000 people, with approximately 30,000 in Canada

    Joshua project reports globally 7,254,400 Kabyle Berbers globally. Using Knowledge of Language and Ethnic Origin from the 2021 Statistics Canada Data calculates an estimated 36,414 Kabyle Berbers live in Canada.

    Calculation = KOL Kabyle Berber/Total Berber = 0.87 x Ethnic Origin

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    30,000+ Soninke

    The number of Soninke is difficult to gauge because of their origins from several different countries, insufficient census data because many are undocumented, etc. However, field research in Cincinnati and New York City have shown the Soninke are large enough to have their own social institutions, even organized by town and region, and they have their own festivals, mosques, etc. In places like the Bronx, large project buildings can be almost completely full of Soninke people, creating virtual villages in the city. 

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    numbering around 124,000

    Statistics Canada 2021 counted 73,770 people whose ethnic origin was Algerian. The US Census does not count Algerians in the American Community Survey. The Algerian Embassy in Washington estimates that there are 50,000 Algerians in the US. 


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    10,000 Mandinka

    Based on interactions with the Gambian Association of America, there are around 5,000 Mandinka in New York City and an estimated 5,000 throughout the rest of North America in cities such as Chicago, Columbus, and Cincinnati. 

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    Over 20,000 Fouta Tooro

    Census data for West African populations like the Fouta Toora do not exist; therefore, numbers are based on estimates from workers or organizations in the United States and Canada. These numbers are likely higher than the estimates given by workers or organizations.

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    5,000-member Mashadi Jewish community

    Statistics Canada 2021 estimates that there are 282,015 people who claim a Jewish ethnic origin. The US Community Survey does not include Jewish as an ethnicity. The Persian Jewish Community in North America is made up of Mashadi and Tehrani Jews. Based on several articles, the Mashadi Jewish community in North America is estimated between 5,000-7,000. The Tehrani Persian Jewish Community is larger and estimated at 60,000 members.

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