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Sunday Open Thread – Spotlight on Muslim-American Wealth

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Statistics on Muslim-Americans are notoriously imprecise. Demographic figures especially tend to be either bloated or truncated depending on who’s carrying out the study. Yet, some reliable data on the roughly six million Muslims (the roundabout consensus number) living in the United States do exist.

According to Pew and Gallup researchers, for example, the overall contours of our population are surprisingly similar to the broader American society – with some notable differences in the realm of US foreign policy. What’s more, on matters of education and economics, Muslims as a whole actually fair better than the average citizen. It’s not surprising, then, that the Muslim-American consumer is finally garnering some warranted attention.

Last October, MLink organized the first ever gathering of entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, consultants and researchers all focused on the Muslim-American market. The American Muslim Consumer Conference highlighted some of the ways companies position themselves within this still nascent sphere.

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With an eye on the future, the organizers touted our community’s collective $200 billion in spending power – much of it untapped. While this figure is useful in framing a broad discussion of Muslim-American wealth, a more focused agenda requires more precise data.

Enter Zeus Capital Advisers. Their latest effort, The Muslim Wealth Project, endeavors “to uncover not only information regarding gross income levels of Muslims in America, but also what they spend money on, where they spend money, philanthropic donation, financial investments and planning, and property ownership.”

To do this, however, they need your help. You can take their survey on the project’s site or through ZCA here. The final study, properly conducted with a representative sample size, will no doubt be an invaluable resource to business owners and scholars alike, inshAllah.

On a side note, I’m sure our UK brothers and sisters are giggling at our relatively underdeveloped market here in the US. Honestly, they have reason to – what with all the shariah compliant financial products they have at their disposal. It seems, however, that we here in the New World are finally starting to realize our potential.

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Some housekeeping notes:

Sr. Ify, in recognition of her tireless efforts, is now a member of the MM Shura.

Congrats Sister Ify!!

Also, yours truly, through the charity of the Shura (heh), is now a Senior Associate.

May Allah allow us both to live up to our new duties and be of some small benefit to the ummah. Ameen!

Keep supporting MuslimMatters for the sake of Allah

Alhamdulillah, we're at over 850 supporters. Help us get to 900 supporters this month. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

Youssef Chouhoud is an assistant professor of political science at Christopher Newport University, where he is affiliated with the Reiff Center for Human Rights and Conflict Resolution. Youssef completed his PhD at the Political Science and International Relations program at the University of Southern California as a Provost’s Fellow. His research interests include political attitudes and behavior, survey methodology, and comparative democratization.

8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Amatullah

    April 11, 2010 at 8:01 AM

    mubarak on the promotion Ify and br. Youssef :)

    may Allah make you both from the muhsineen and accept your deeds. Ameen.

    • Youssef Chouhoud

      April 11, 2010 at 8:28 AM

      JAK Sr. Amatullah. And Ameen :)

    • Amad

      April 11, 2010 at 11:08 AM

      Mabrook… Really, you two have been an awesome catch for MM!! It’s hard now to imagine MM without your consistent contributions :)

  2. abu Abdullah

    April 11, 2010 at 8:18 AM

    Salamualaikum,

    I am not sure what that this promotion means in general but still Congrats :). Myself can’t construct 4 sentences on one topic, forget about writing an article / speech on one subject. no qualms. Alhamdulillah. But i thoroughly enjoy being here on MM, subahan Allah, being benefitted especially from the highly intellectual diverse pool of comments.

    Speaking of spending power of AM, do you think that education wise also first generation american muslims fare better than the rest of Americans.

    • Youssef Chouhoud

      April 11, 2010 at 8:36 AM

      Salam Br. Abu Abdullah,

      Thanks for the kind words.

      With regard to your question, if by first generation you mean the brothers and sisters that originally immigrated here, I think that they too are better off academically than the average American since many of them either came to study or came armed with a college degree already. In terms of affluence though, I’d guess that the data is skewed toward 2nd & 3rd gen Muslims because, anecdotally, it seems that many of those who came with their degrees unfortunately weren’t able to utilize their education and took more blue-collar jobs to support their families.

      W’Allahu alam

  3. UmmD

    April 12, 2010 at 10:06 AM

    Big mabrouk to both of you!

  4. UmmD

    April 12, 2010 at 10:10 AM

    Btw, here’s a tip for everyone to check out this site, http://www.LikeAGarment.com
    Sh. Yasir is launching a new email series inshAllah

  5. Pingback: Links for April 13, 2010 « Sajed Bhandari

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