January 14, 2018


Asian Immigrants in the United States: On average, Asian immigrants are more educated and have higher household incomes than the overall immigrant and U.S.-born populations  (Jie Zong and Jeanne Batalova, 1/06/16, MPI)

Migration from Asia to the United States rose dramatically with passage of the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act, which removed national-origin quotas established in 1921 barring immigration from Asian and Arab countries and sharply limiting arrivals from Africa and eastern and southern Europe. The number of Asian immigrants grew from 491,000 in 1960 to about 12.8 million in 2014, representing a 2,597 percent increase. In 1960, Asians represented 5 percent of the U.S. foreign-born population; by 2014, their share grew to 30 percent of the nation's 42.4 million immigrants.

As of 2014, the top five origin countries of Asian immigrants were India, China, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Korea. The migration motivations and demographic characteristics of Asian immigrants have varied greatly over time and by country of origin, ranging from employment and family reunification to educational or investment opportunities and humanitarian protection. While the size of the Asian immigrant population in the United States continues to increase, the population's growth rate has slowed since 1980. Between 1970 and 1980, the number of Asian immigrants grew 308 percent from 825,000 to 2.5 million, then by 196 percent to 4.9 million in 1990. From 65 percent in the 1990s, the growth rate dropped to 37 percent in the 2000s and 12 percent from 2010 to 2014 (see Figure 1). Asia is the second-largest region of birth (after Latin America) of U.S. immigrants. As immigration from Latin America has declined in recent years--with China and India overtaking Mexico in flows of recent arrivals--Asian immigrants are projected to comprise a greater share of all immigrants, becoming the largest foreign-born group by 2055, according to Pew Research Center estimates. [...]

Asian immigrants have significantly higher incomes than the total foreign- and U.S.-born populations. In 2014, the median income of households headed by an Asian immigrant was $70,000, compared to $49,000 and $55,000 for overall immigrant and native-born households, respectively. Households headed by Indian ($105,000), Taiwanese ($91,000), Filipino ($82,000), and Malaysian ($80,000) immigrants had the highest median income among all Asian immigrant groups, while Saudi ($22,000), Iraqi ($27,000), and Burmese ($38,000) households had the lowest median incomes.

Posted by at January 14, 2018 9:36 AM