December 16, 2004


Indians lead the pack in America's ethnic mix (CHIDANAND RAJGHATTA, DECEMBER 16, 2004, Times of India)

Indians are the best-educated and highest-earning people among all major ethnic groups in the United States, including native-born Americans. They are also the youngest and most likely to be white collar professionals.

These are among the bragging rights conferred in a new study "We The People: Asian Americans in the United States" released on Wednesday by the US Census Bureau. Based on the year 2000 census, the report provides a handsome snapshot of the fastest growing immigrant community in the United States. [...]

[I]t is in the area of education and professional achievement that the Indians are a class apart. According to the study, 63.9 per cent of Indians have a Bachelor's degree or more, compared to 44 per cent for Asians and a nationwide 24.4 per cent who have a Bachelor's degree or more.

Indians were also most likely to be employed - 79.1 per cent Indian men and 54 per cent Indian women were part of the US labor force. Indians had the highest percentage of people (60 per cent) in management, professional and related services compared to 44 per cent overall for Asians and 34 per cent nationwide.

The study also bears out the oft-repeated claim of Indians being among the highest earners. Indian men had the highest year round full-time median earnings ($51,900) eclipsing the Japanese ($50,900) and well ahead of the national average ($37,057) and the Asian average ($40,650).

Separately, Indian women were only marginally behind Japanese women in median earnings ($35,998 vs $35,173). Overall, the Japanese had the highest median family income ($70,849) followed closely by Indians ($70,708). Both were way ahead of the national average of $50,046.

Bobby Jindal may be the most significant House freshman ever.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 16, 2004 9:36 PM

This is simply impossible. Many of these Indians had non-Indian teachers. Don't you know the biggest impediment to economic advancement for minorities is poor modeling projections from teacher role models because they are not the same race as the students? The whole Asian success thing is a lie for the same reason. Somebody on this blog needs to read a friggin book.

Posted by: JimGooding at December 16, 2004 11:13 PM

The immigration from India has tended to be from the most educated, we're basically cherry-picking their star students. There hasn't been a mass migration of poor people, like we get from Mexico or Laos/Cambodia. They tend to also be concentrated in the IT and engineering fields, which gives them a leg up on the salary ladder. Go to any corporate IT shop today, you will find a large contingent of Indians.

Posted by: Robert Duquette at December 17, 2004 4:56 AM



The US is an unintentional eugenics experiment.

Posted by: Jeff Guinn at December 17, 2004 7:09 AM

Sarcasm off.

Indians who come to the U.S. don't expect to be supported by the taxpayer. They are independent, hard working and succeed in part because of their genes, but also in large part because of their work ethic.

Same is true for other waves of Asians. The Chinese who came here to work on the railroads couldn't have been treated worse. Slaves on southern plantations lived in luxury compared to them. Yet their ancestors aren't demanding reparations, they're too busy becoming today's scientists, doctors and leaders in every profession.

What advantages did they have other than family values of hard work and sacrifice for a better future for their children. Ditto Japanese, Koreans, Vietnamese, etc. Ditto blacks from Africa, Haiti and the West Indies. They do very nicely by opting out of the slave mentality imposed on native blacks by their so-called leaders.

People of any color or race, from any place on the globe, educated or unschooled, who want to come to the U.S. to become Americans, I say welcome. Come join us in building the most amazing civilization since the beginning of time.

Want to come here to become a hyphenated American and live in ethnic enclaves, I say, stay home and enjoy your own culture. We don't want or need you here.

Posted by: erp at December 17, 2004 8:03 AM

People come here because they want to and because they have the courage to try to make it in a new country. Take the Chinese. You might think that America is cherry-picking China's, Hong Kong's, and Taiwan's star students too, if you allow yourself to be too impressed by the huge numbers of graduate students from those places who stay in the United States and staff its corporations and laboratories. But you would also be ignoring the massive numbers of Chinese peasants and workers who are also coming here. Go to any Chinatown. Most of the the first-generation immigrants you see there aren't Ph.D.s, and they aren't rich. But their children are likely to be.

Posted by: X at December 17, 2004 8:37 AM

One of my graduate advisors in school was an Indian woman finishing her Ph.D. - and this was 25 years ago. She married an American and they have 4 or 5 children now.

Asians (typically) don't care who the teacher is; they will learn regardless. Sure, they leave behind part of their stiff cultural heritage, but that is inevitable.

Ironically, the older an Indian immigrant is, the harder it is to assimilate. It's not the language - they all speak English - but it's how they handle the adjustment. I have seen very wealthy Gujarati men (the princes of their villages) come to the US and not take to the freedom at all. They miss the deference. But younger men and women do just fine.

And X's point is spot-on, too.

Posted by: jim hamlen at December 17, 2004 11:01 AM

The NY Times had a very interesting article today about the two Indian migrations, the one that has everyone's attention here and another working class one from Guyana, of Indians descended from indentured servants brought their by the Brits in the 19th century. The two groups have only limited mingling, and caste issues are a major problem.

There is a major difference between Indians born here and the ones born in India. Ones here remind me of my generation of Jewish students, in both good and bad ways, while people born in India are far more serious and less infected with American-style intellectual flabbiness.

Posted by: Bart at December 17, 2004 6:08 PM

Robert Duquette:

This of course explains the motel owners and restraunteers.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at December 17, 2004 11:22 PM


Many of them, not unlike many Jewish small businessmen and entrepreneurs, are very well-educated people who just didn't want to 'work for the Man.'

Posted by: Bart at December 18, 2004 9:13 AM


My experiences with my Indian coworkers here in Ford's tech center (I am the only native born American in the group, BTW), echo exactly what you say.

Posted by: Jeff Guinn at December 19, 2004 7:09 AM

Robert S.

Entrepreneurs are likewise the cherries of the Indian socio-economic crop.

My statement may be an over-generalization, but I'm making the point that there hasn't been, to my knowledge, any large-scale immigration of Indians from the impoverished classes. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Posted by: Robert Duquette at December 19, 2004 2:13 PM


All the Indians where I work are Brahmins. They do admit to shame over the caste system. And they loath the consequent affirmative action.

Anyone who thinks AA is a good idea needs to get more familiar with the Indian experience of it.

Posted by: Jeff Guinn at December 19, 2004 2:58 PM