Approximately 86,000 Syrian immigrants resided in the United States in 2014, accounting for 0.2 percent of the nation’s 42.4 million immigrants. Though the population remains a small one, its growth occurred largely after the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 abolished the national-origins quota system and opened the door to Syrians seeking safety from war and persecution, as well as education and employment opportunities and family reunification. Between 2010 and 2014, the population grew approximately, owing largely to the start of the Syrian civil war in 2011.
The majority of Syrian immigrants come to the United States through family reunification channels rather than as refugees or asylum seekers or through employment-based channels. Compared to the overall foreign and native-born populations, Syrian immigrants on average are significantly older, more highly educated, and less likely to participate in the labor force (because of lower workforce participation by women). However, employed Syrians are more likely to work in high-skilled occupations—particularly in the sectors of educational services, health care, and social assistance, and retail trade—and have higher earnings than the overall foreign or native-born populations.
SAMS (Syrian American Medical Society)