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The Most Successful Immigrants in the World
5 years ago

According to  journalist, TV and radio personality Stephen Dubner, the most successful immigrants in the world are originally from Lebanon.  There's no surprise there. The number of Lebanese emigrants is approximately 12-18 million. The majority of these emigrants left Lebanon due to its instability, the lack of governance and deprivation of basic human needs. They left Lebanon in search of a better life for themselves and to provide their children with the things they never had.  Therefore, they are more ambitious and work harder to maintain this stability.


Stephen J. DUBNER: Once upon a time, I was on a plane with Nassim Taleb. He is a philosopher of sorts, and he writes fascinating books - most recently The Black Swan and Antifragile.DUBNER: Now, Taleb is originally from Lebanon, and he still goes back a few times a year. He lives just outside of New York City now.

On this plane trip, he told me something I'd never heard before which was that if you look at ten or twenty or thirty of the richest countries around the world, that among the richest people in those countries is someone from Lebanon.

TALEB: When we met last we were going from London to South Africa on this beautiful trip with extremely hospitable people. It was great. And so we were going and then suddenly we started discussing the Lebanese diaspora....
DUBNER: And when he started talking about this, about how successful the Lebanese diaspora is, I had three quick reactions.
1: Interesting, if it's true.
2. Is it true?
3: If true, why?


The podcast that explores the hidden side of everything. Here's your host, Stephen Dubner.

DUBNER: So the author Nassim Taleb, who is Lebanese-American, tells us that the Lebanese diaspora has been incredibly successful, and he's got some theories - some deep-seated historical theories - as to why that is. But before we get back to him, let's take a closer look at the Lebanese community in the States, and elsewhere. We'll start with a friend of mine, named George Atallah, Jr. Remember the Jr. George is 35 years old; he works for the N.F.L. Players' Association. And, he too, is Lebanese-American.

Official name
Republic of Lebanon
Country code
10, 452 sq km
4.4 million
Lebanese lira (LL) US$1 = LL1502 €1 = LL1774