February 24, 2006


Indian Americans - a growing force in the US (New Kerala, 2/24/06)

The Indian diaspora is today the third largest Asian community in the US, is upwardly mobile and is on its way to becoming a political force in that country.

Cherian Samuel, a scholar at the Institute of Defence Studies and Anlyses (IDSA), made the observation here during a seminar Thursday on Indo-US relations, organised ahead of George W. Bush's visit.

Samuel said Indian Americans totalled about 1.7 million in the US according to the 2000 census, their numbers having gone up by an incredible 106 percent since 1990. It grew at a rate of 7.6 percent annually in the last 10 years.

"In the process, Indian Americans replaced Japanese Americans as the third largest Asian community in the US after the Chinese (2.7 million) and Filipinos (1.9)." [...]

Sixty-four percent of them were college educated as against the national average of 27 percent.

The average median family income for the Indian American community was estimated at $70,000, against the average family income of $50,000.

The Indian community was also upwardly mobile and included a large number of professionals.

To take a point, Samuel said, 38 percent of all physicians in the US were of Indian origin, as were 10 percent of all medical practitioners.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 24, 2006 12:01 AM

Thank God they are not Islamists.

Posted by: ic at February 24, 2006 2:51 AM

Thank God they're not Comanches.

Posted by: AllenS at February 24, 2006 8:28 AM

I don't know the percentage, but most of the East Indian doctors and other care givers I've met are Moslem, whether they're also Islamists isn't known.

As a woman, I wouldn't willingly be seen by a Moslem doctor, either male or female. Women, especially past child bearing age, have little or no value in the Moslem world.

Posted by: erp at February 24, 2006 9:34 AM

We know that Indian-Americans are going to be successful here. Just look at how well Apu runs his Kwik-E-Mart on the Simpson's

Anyone for a Squishee ?

Posted by: John J. Coupal at February 24, 2006 10:05 AM

Looks like the PC types are going to win one. We'll all have to start using "Native Americans" to avoid confusion between "Indian Americans" and "American Indians."

It took 500 years, but that mistake of Columbus's finally bit.

Posted by: Bob Hawkins at February 24, 2006 10:50 AM

"Harold and what's his name go to white Castle"is pretty funny on the South Asians all becoming doctors thing.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at February 24, 2006 11:45 AM

Just for the record - my current physician is Indian and he is the best doctor I have ever had. I have no idea what religion he follows.

Though I tend to judge a family doctor on whether or not he or she will prescribe codeine cough syrup when I have cold.

Posted by: Shelton at February 24, 2006 11:55 AM

What is this? Are we casting about for names to call people whom we like to lump into categories?

There are very few American Indians in our area, although there are a few. They like to call themselves "Native" "Americans," ignoring that they themselves are Asian immigrants taking the first name of an obscure Italian mapmaker.

The better practice seems to be to call the one group American Indians and the other South Asians, which include Pakistanis.

There are a lot of South Asians in our township, and I have to say that the question never comes up. One reason is never comes up is that individuals are encountered as individuals and not as group members. I just don't hear people talking about it.

Posted by: Lou Gots at February 24, 2006 1:23 PM

Shelton, I'm surmising that you are male.

Posted by: erp at February 24, 2006 1:57 PM

erp -

Yes - and I can understand your hesitation - my wife goes to a female doctor for general practice. I assume a female muslim doctor wouldn't be a problem for you, except for the problem of finding one.

Posted by: Shelton at February 24, 2006 2:12 PM

Shelton, I object to their world view, not their sex.

Posted by: erp at February 24, 2006 4:16 PM


I once sat next to a female Islamic eye doctor on a plane trip: she was a moderate Muslim who didn't wear a veil and fled Sudan with her family in the late 80s. She was extremely friendly but spoke in a near-whisper so that half the time I couldn't make out what she was saying.

I did, however, catch her comment that the radical Islamic types she knew in Sudan are total nutcases and there's nothing America can do to appease them -- she said it's either attack or be attacked.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at February 24, 2006 6:23 PM