By Zara Zhi
AsAmNews Staff Writer
When people think of the largest immigrant groups in the U.S., Mexicans and Chinese usually come to mind. But changing immigration patterns have already led to a major demographic shift in America that has not yet been widely reported.
According to recent census data, immigrants from Asia constitute the fastest growing immigrant group, outpacing Latinos. While the media has been commenting on the surge of new arrivals from Asia as a giant monolith, one group in particular has been leading the rest — Indians.
Indian Americans are the second largest immigrant group in America
Indian Americans have quietly overtaken Chinese Americans and Filipino Americans for the crown of largest Asian immigrant group in the United States, and the second largest immigrant group in the country behind Mexicans.
Over two million Indian-born immigrants have lived to the U.S. since 2013, accounting for 4.7 of the 41.3 million foreign-born population, according to the Migration Policy Institute. The Indian immigrant population increased ten-fold from 1980 to 2013, from 206,000 to 2.04 million, approximately doubling every decade.
This dramatic increase is in large part due to importing employees form India in mostly technology-related fields. In 2014, 70% of the 316,000 H-1B visa recipients were from India.
Immigrants from India have the highest household income out of any other group in America
Not only are Indian Americans now the second largest immigrant group in the country, they are also the wealthiest.
Considering the large number of Desis in powerful corporate executive positions, it comes as no surprise that Indians are exceptionally successful in the U.S. Particularly, Google’s new CEO, Sundar Pichai; Microsoft’s president, Satya Nadella; and the CEO of Pepsi, Indra Nooyi. What do these CEO’s have in common? They were all born in India.
Although some of the most powerful corporations are spearheaded by Indians, it should be noted that the literacy rate in India is still below the global average.
The median household income for Indian Americans is roughly $101,591 — making them the highest earning group in the United States.
Large income disparity within Asian Americans
So while it’s true that Asian Americans earn the most out of any race in the United States, there is a stark wealth disparity that exists within our group. Many people don’t realize that Burmese, Bangladeshi and Hmong immigrants are some of the lowest earning groups in the entire country.
According to census statistics, the rankings of median household incomes of various Asian Americans immigrant groups are as follows:
1.Indian Americans – $101,591
2.Taiwanese Americans – $85,566
- Filipino Americans – $82,389
- Japanese Americans – $70,261
- Chinese Americans (excluding Taiwan) – $68,672
- Pakistani Americans – $62,848
- Indonesian Americans – $61,943
- Vietnamese Americans – $59,405
- Korean American – $58,573
- Laotian American : $53,655
- Thai American – $53,468
- Cambodian American – $53,359
- Hmong American – $48,149
80.Nepali American – $44,677
81.Bangladeshi American – $44,512
- Burmese American – $35,016
(Note from the editor: This story has been updated to clarify that Indian Americans are the largest Asian immigrant group in the country)
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