The Chicago area is home to the country’s largest Palestinian American community. There are more than 18,000 Palestinians living in Cook County alone, the most of any county in the nation, and that’s only according to the available Census data.
“Experts say that’s likely a huge undercount of the true population,” said WBEZ data reporter Amy Qin. “Some experts estimate the actual Palestinian population here in the Chicago area to be five times larger than what the Census has.”
Qin analyzed available data and spoke with experts about the history of Palestinian migration to Chicago. In this episode, she tells host Erin Allen about four significant periods, from the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, to the Arab-Israeli Wars of 1948 and 1967, to the largest wave of migration in the 1990s.