Tuesday, November 28th, 2017

A Demographer’s Nightmare

I posted this in the previous post, but it merits repeating.

Look at this inconsistency for Colombia.

Screenshots of Wikipedia.

Wikipedia estimates about 800,000 – 3.2 Million Lebanese Colombians, out of approx. 50 Million people in Colombia. But the numbers are all over the place.

Elsewhere, in Wikipedia, the Arab diaspora in Columbia is listed at 1.5 Million.

Notice the contradiction. Lebanese Colombians could be as high as 3.2 Million, but another chart lists 1.5 Million Arab-Colombians.

How can one possibly have more Lebanese than Arabs, when the Lebanese are a subset of Arabs?

This is what makes checking the demographics of Arabs in the Western Hemisphere to so hard. As is so often stated, the problem is that many Lebanese refuse to call themselves Arabs.

The number of Arabs in South America is much higher than official figures cite.

Similar inconsistencies crop up in Argentina and the United States. In Australia, the Lebanese do not even have to list their ancestry as Arab, but can cite Syriac (which is a language group, not necessarily Syrian) instead.

I suspect elsewhere as well.

Lebanese Christians were horribly persecuted by the Muslims. Many refuse to call themselves Arabs, but prefer to call themselves Phoenicians, by virtue of their ancient Phoenician past. Some get rather indignant if you call them Arabs.

Yet, upon arrival in any country, they speak Arabic, eat Arabic food, and listen to Arabic music.

The result is that glaring inconsistencies in demographics can occur. Hence the number of Arabs in any country in the Western Hemisphere is grossly underreported.

Thankfully, this is not a problem for anyone, but demographers. These same Lebanese Christians who refuse to identify as Arabs are also determined to blend in, assimilate, and intermarry rather rapidly. If they are underreported, it is because they assimilate so well.

Take for example: Julio César Turbay. He was the 25th president of Colombia, and was half-Lebanese. The product of assimilation and intermarriage.

But this has to be noted.