Unreached People Groups Priority Matrix Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can you explain the categories of the UPG Matrix and how they are weighted?

The list is sorted using an overall significance score based on a matrix of weighted factors including a people group’s population size, amount of Christians, amount of ministry being done, amount of churches started, the global significance of a people group’s presence in a city, and their global status of evangelical Christianity.

In effect, the Matrix prioritizes frontier people groups with the smallest Christian presence globally (e.g., small Hasidic Jewish groups with few believers score higher than large Bangladeshi people groups who have movements to Christ in their homeland). Furthermore, the Matrix prioritizes unreached people group (UPG) communities who have the least amount of missionaries and same-culture believers, even if those communities are smaller than others (e.g., Punjabi Sikhs in NYC score higher than Punjabi Sikhs in Vancouver because of the more developed missionary work in Vancouver).

We are seeking to identify where cross-cultural evangelists and missionaries are most needed because of a lack of Christians within a people group. Groups who have a significant Christian presence outside of the evangelical stream are not included in our list (like some peoples who are primarily Roman Catholic) as a matter of prioritizing needs. The assumption is that all Christian streams have access to Scripture and the gospel in a culturally and linguistically familiar way. Joshua Project (a global peoples database that tracks the impact of the gospel) also does not include groups as unreached peoples if they are over 5% Christian of any kind. Also, some groups like Japanese, Nepali, Cambodians, or Mongols might still appear on global UPG lists as less than 2% Christian, but their Christian presence is much higher in North America (e.g., Pew research shows 38% of Japanese in the U.S. are Christian). As a result, we leave these groups off our list as well. They do not have a desperate need for cross-cultural workers.

Here’s a further breakdown of the weighted factors:

Global Status of Evangelical Christianity (GSEC)

The Global Status of Evangelical Christianity index number is listed under the people group’s profile on peoplegroups.org (and sometimes joshuaproject.net). On these sites, we look at the GSEC score for the country where the people group’s population is largest for the best representation of a global number. We then enter a score on our Matrix from 0-100 based on the GSEC score (GSEC 0=100, GSEC 1=65-95, GSEC 2=35-60, GSEC 3=5-30).

The Global Status of Evangelical Christianity scores are as follows:

0 = No evangelical Christians or churches. No access to evangelical print, audio, visual or human resources.

1 = Less than 2 percent evangelical. Some evangelical resources available. No active church planting within the past two years.

2 = Less than 2 percent evangelical. Initial or localized church planting within the past two years.

3 = Less than 2 percent evangelical. Dispersed or widespread church planting within the past two years.

Not all unreached people groups are the same. Some have burgeoning church planting movements globally but haven’t reached 2% evangelical Christian within their population yet. These groups are less in need of cross-cultural workers because of the evangelizing capability of local churches within these people groups. Some people groups don’t even have easy access to Scripture or audio resources in their language. The GSEC score thus serves as a way of measuring what groups are most in need of outside evangelists and missionaries globally. 

There might be 150,000 Bangladeshis in Metro New York but there are also church planting movements taking place among that group in their homeland. Pupa Jews number less than 10,000 in Metro New York but score much higher on overall priority because there are no known Christians among this group worldwide, no one focused on reaching them, and they happen to have their largest presence in the world in Metro New York.

The Global Status of Evangelical Christianity has a high weighted score on our Matrix (8 out of 10).

Population Size in City

A people group has to number 5,000 in a metropolitan area to make our UPG Priority Matrix list. While somewhat arbitrary, the number 5,000 was chosen because it is large enough for people groups to form a community with institutions and services to retain people group cohesiveness. Larger population numbers also increase the likelihood of global connections for the potential spread of the gospel. The 5-100 score in our Matrix for population size is automatically populated from the people group’s population size divided by 1,000 (e.g., a population numbering 15,000 scores 15 for this category). People groups numbering over 100,000 score the max score of 100. Our Matrix weighs this factor 4 out of 10.

Churches Started in City

One of the ways to identify unreached people groups is there are no, or too few, local churches in which a people group can be easily incorporated. Therefore, this category measures church planting efforts in a metropolitan area to see if there are:

  • No churches remotely similar in culture to an unreached people group. Matrix score = 100.
  • Non-evangelistic or near-culture churches to an unreached people group (e.g., a Syrian Arab Christian-background church might speak the same, or similar language, as Egyptian Arab Muslims but would not easily incorporate an Egyptian Muslim-background family, or even a Syrian Arab Muslim-background family, because of cultural difference and/or animosity toward Muslim-background people). Matrix score = 60-95.
  • At least one evangelistic church that could easily incorporate the focused people group (e.g., a Bangla-speaking church w/ over one-half of their members being recent Muslim-background converts would likely be active evangelists among Bangladeshi Muslims and able to incorporate new believers into their fellowship or start new churches among them). Matrix score = 40-55.
  • Several evangelistic churches among the people group who are actively evangelizing their people and could easily incorporate new believers into their churches or start new churches among them. If several evangelical churches exist among a people group in a specific metropolitan area, the need for cross-cultural workers is greatly diminished. Matrix score = 15-35.
  • A church planting movement is taking place among an unreached people group in a metropolitan area. That is, disciples and churches are multiplying rapidly with indigenous leadership. If such a movement is taking place, cross-cultural evangelists are not needed. In fact, they could actually hinder the movement. Matrix score = 5-10.

As the primary factor for reaching a people group is same-culture evangelistic churches who are regularly starting new churches to reach their people, we weigh this category 10 out of 10.

Ministry Engagement in the City

This category measures the amount of ministry taking place among a particular people group in a city (e.g., English class ministries, Bible distribution, evangelism, etc.). No evangelism or ministry taking place among a people group scores 100 on our Matrix. A low score on our Matrix represents an abundance of evangelism and ministry taking place. We do acknowledge, however, that there can be ministry happening for many years among a people that isn’t effective in evangelism. As a result, we factor ministry engagement into our Matrix but it’s much less important than categories like same-culture churches started or same-culture believers present in the city. We weigh this category 2 out of 10.

Same-Culture Christians in the City

This category measures the amount of believers from the people group present in a metropolitan area. A score of 100 indicates no same-culture Christians, while a low score represents an abundance of same-culture Christians (approaching 2% evangelical out of their total population in the city). The assumption is that, if there is a large number of same-culture believers, cross-cultural evangelists and missionaries are less needed, and vice-versa. At first glance, this category seems similar to the “churches started in city” category. However, these categories don’t always co-relate. For example, there might be many Thai women Christians who married American sailors. As a result of the intercultural marriage, the couples often incorporate easier into non-Thai churches. A substantial Christian population may exist from a people group in a city (which is important and helps in the spread of the gospel to their people) but, for a variety of reasons, might not have a church for their people. We weighed this category 7 out of 10. Same-culture believers are important but not as much as the presence of evangelistic churches into which their people could be easily incorporated.

Global Significance of Presence in the City

This category considers the global significance of a people group’s presence in a city. A score of 100 indicates that the people group’s presence in a city is the highest in the world outside of countries that are dangerous, or difficult to access, for openly confessing Christians. A low score indicates that there is nothing particularly unique or significant about a people group’s presence in a city (i.e., significant populations of this people can be openly accessed in many cities around the world). The threat level in a home country of a people group can be informed by looking at the Open Doors World Watch List of 50 Countries Where Christians are Most Persecuted. 

In this category, we are seeking to identify unique opportunities in cities for global evangelism among a people group. For example, Gujaratis are spread out in many cities around the world and don’t score high in this category. Satmar Jews, however, have their largest presence in the world in Metro New York and, therefore, score a 100 in this category. Tibetans also score high in Metro New York and the Greater Toronto Area because their populations in these cities are the largest in the world outside of China, India, and Nepal. We weigh this category 10 out of 10.

 

2. How do you define what qualifies as an unreached people group?

Defining what constitutes an unreached people group has been an ongoing discussion among missions leaders since the 1960s. See Dave Datema’s article on “Defining ‘Unreached’” A Short History” for details. With the rise of globalization and urbanization, it is becoming more difficult for individuals to clearly define the “one people” to whom they belong. Although individuals may have multiple identities and allegiances based on familial, linguistic, cultural, sociological, political, residential, occupational, religious, or recreational ties, people typically have a primary cultural affinity that constitutes “their people.”

In a historic 1982 meeting of mission leaders in Chicago, the following definitions emerged for “people group” and “unreached people group”:

People Group: “A significantly large grouping of individuals who perceive themselves to have a common affinity for one another because of their shared language, religion, ethnicity, residence, occupation, class or caste, situation, etc., or combinations of these. For evangelistic purposes it is the largest group within which the gospel can spread as a church planting movement without encountering barriers of understanding or acceptance.”

Unreached People Group: “A people group within which there is no indigenous community of believing Christians able to evangelize this people group.” (See “Finishing the Task” by Ralph Winter and Bruce Koch).

There are three main databases that seek to list unreached people groups globally: the World Christian Encyclopedia, Joshua Project, and IMB’s peoplegroups.org. These databases differ on how they measure unreached people. Joshua Project identifies an unreached people group as less than 2% evangelical and less than 5% Christian adherent.

For the purpose of our UPG Priority Matrix list, we align with Joshua Project for what constitutes an unreached people group. None of us would pretend to act authoritatively on knowing for certain when a people group is unreached or reached. The 2% evangelical and 5% Christian adherent markers are quite arbitrary. Some missions leaders argue that the Christian adherent category should be taken out altogether. More than any other reason, the UPG Priority Matrix retains evangelical and Christian adherent percentages as qualifying markers because they help us determine relative priority on what groups are most in need of indigenous followers of Christ who can continue on the task of reaching their people. Because the least reached people groups on this list have little to no Christian presence within their community, cross-culture or near-culture missionaries are needed to help establish indigenous churches that can easily incorporate new believers from within their communities.

After migration to North America, the “largest group within which the gospel can spread” often becomes broader than the more defined ethnic, caste, or cultural identities in people’s homelands. In North America, for example, a collective identity might form more on a nationalistic or linguistic level than a purely ethno-linguistic or caste level. In the UPG Priority Matrix, we have sought to define these groups on how they are identifying, organizing, and socializing within North America. Missionaries “on the ground” might find that smaller groups need to be delineated for evangelism purposes.

3. I think a people group numbers a lot more than you indicate. What is your source for population numbers?

People group estimates are slippery, even from exhaustive number-collecting efforts like government censuses. We use multiple sources in attempts to provide the most accurate estimate. Even still, these numbers should be interpreted as educated guesses to inform relative need. With the United States and Canada providing exhaustive, regular estimates on people’s ancestry, country of birth, language spoken at home, etc., these census tables provide a great base for comparing people group’s populations in various cities. That being said, it is widely perceived that census figures undercount the types of people groups included in our Matrix. For example, a people group prone to distrusting government entities or consisting of many undocumented immigrants are unlikely to disclose accurate information to census gatherers.

Since the main purpose of our Matrix is to display relative need of where cross-cultural evangelists and missionaries are needed, census tables provide a fair base for us to compare populations within cities. As a result, we often use the best census figures that are available. Among some peoples, no census tables are relevant or are obviously so inaccurate that other means are needed to determine population. In these cases, estimates from local community leaders are used or other national surveys are used. In these cases, it is most helpful if knowledgeable sources are used to adequately compare a people group’s presence in one city to another instead of having isolated community leaders in various cities providing numbers. That way, relative size between cities is more accurate. For example, to determine Hasidic Jewish numbers, a worldwide atlas of Hasidic populations was used as a main source that counted particular Hasidic Jewish populations in cities around the world through individual Hasidic Jewish court directories.

In general, census information is undercounted and local community estimates are high. If a number on our Matrix is very specific, such as 11,246, then census information was likely used. If a round number is used, such as 15,000, a community estimate was likely used. If you would like to know particular sources for particular people groups, contact us to describe who you are and why you are interested.

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4. Why do people groups have to number 5,000 in a metro area to make the list?

While somewhat arbitrary, the number 5,000 was chosen because it is large enough for people groups to form a community with institutions and services to retain people group cohesiveness. Larger population numbers also increase the likelihood of global connections for the potential spread of the gospel. This number simply helps us have a cut off to determine priority. To view various populations of people groups in cities with lower numbers, visit peoplegroups.info. Also, one can sort our online Matrix by population or download the Matrix in CSV form (look below the Matrix) to delete, sort, or edit records as desired.

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5. It seems like some of your entries aren’t actually ethnic groups but groups associated by language or country of origin. How do you determine the people group names and identities in the UPG Matrix?

As best as we can, we are identifying people groups as they identify/organize/socialize/intermarry/etc. within North America. As a result, our people group definitions will typically be broader than delineations of people groups in people’s homeland. Our purpose is not to list all of the different people groups in North America but to strategically identify the largest unreached people groups through which the gospel can naturally spread as a church planting movement without encountering significant barriers of understanding or acceptance.

Because language is one of the most noticeable barriers for communicating the gospel, even in North America, it plays a major part in identifying people groups. Asian Indians are a complicated group to categorize but serve as a good example. In databases like joshuaproject.net, Indian groups are largely categorized by language and drilled down into various castes. In North America, the caste delineations aren’t as important and the people often socialize, organize, etc., along linguistic lines (e.g., Telugu Association of New York, or Tamil, Marathi, Gujarati, or Malayali). As a result, we have chosen to identify groups in that way (e.g., Gujarati). Often, people groups take on more of a national identity in North America and socialize/intermarry as such. Thus, we use Bangladeshi instead of Bengali or Sylheti. Sometimes groups primarily identify/socialize/intermarry with a particular religious group, and that group sometimes has their own dialect of a particular language. Such is the case particularly with Hasidic Jewish groups. As a result, they are categorized by their particular Hasidic court (e.g., Satmar Jews).

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6. Why are some very large populations less prioritized than smaller populations, sometimes even among the same people?

Not all unreached people groups are the same. Some have burgeoning church planting movements globally but haven’t reached 2% evangelical Christian within their population yet. These groups are less in need of cross-cultural workers because of the evangelizing capability of local churches within these people groups. Some people groups don’t even have easy access to Scripture or audio resources in their language. There might be 150,000 Bangladeshis in Metro New York but there are also church planting movements taking place among that group in their homeland. Pupa Jews number less than 10,000 in Metro New York but score much higher on overall priority because there are no known Christians among this group worldwide, no one focused on reaching them, and they happen to have their largest presence in the world in Metro New York.

In North America, the largest concentration of a particular people in a city often garners the most attention from missionaries (e.g., Somalis in Minneapolis or Punjabi Sikhs in Vancouver). In contrast to the active ministry or church planting in those cities, sometimes smaller populations of these peoples in other cities score higher in priority on our Matrix because they have garnered less attention from missionaries and same-culture Christians.

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7. Does your data include populations of international students who come from unreached people groups but only stay for a few years?

Sometimes. However, we are focused on identifying communities of unreached people groups. International students are too transient to form a long-term community by themselves.

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8. Do you measure the number of resources that churches/Christians are currently dedicating to reaching the people groups in question?

Yes, on a global scale, this is factored through the GSEC category on our Matrix. On a local level, categories such as churches started, ministry engagement, and same-culture believers are measured. See more details under the questions, “Can you explain the categories of the Matrix and how they are weighted?”

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9. Why is the emphasis of the Matrix on where cross-cultural missionaries are needed?

In the UPG Priority Matrix, we are seeking to identify where cross-cultural evangelists and missionaries are most needed because of a lack of Christians within a people group. When there are a lack of same-culture Christians within a people group to adequately spread the gospel to their people and incorporate them into churches, cross-cultural evangelists are needed to help establish a gospel breakthrough. As same-culture Christians and churches increase, the need for cross-cultural missionaries diminishes and is, ultimately, not needed.

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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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1,252,000

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 Peoplegroups.org 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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1,781,000

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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approximately68,000

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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168,000

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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168,000

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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221,000

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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