Report: Indian-Americans’ income highest in U.S.

Indian-Americans have the highest median annual household income at $100,000 and the U.S. Asian population that includes Indian-Americans, overall does well on measures of economic well-being compared with the U.S. population as a whole, according to a new report from Pew Research.

According to the study based on research, Indian households have the highest median income ($100,000), followed by Filipinos ($80,000), Japanese and Sri Lankans (each $74,000).

However, data suggest that in terms of income and other measures, there are wide variations among the Asian subgroups. The median annual household income of households headed by Asian-Americans is $73,060, compared with $53,600 among all U.S. households, but these overall figures hide differences among Asian origin groups.

Four groups have household incomes well below the median household income for all Americans: Bangladeshi ($49,800), Hmong ($48,000), Nepalese ($43,500) and Burmese ($36,000).

The study, based on a survey and released in September, said Asian-Americans overall were also less likely than the general U.S. population to live in poverty in 2015 (12.1 percent vs. 15.1 percent), but there are large differences between Asian subgroups.

Eight of the 19 Asian groups analyzed had poverty rates higher than the U.S. average. Hmong (28.3 percent), Bhutanese (33.3 percent) and Burmese (35 percent) had the highest poverty rates among Asian groups while the lowest rates were among Filipinos (7.5 percent), Indians (7.5 percent) and Japanese (8.4 percent).

Indian-Americans also fared well in terms of education, with about half of Asians aged 25 and older (51 percent) having a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared with 30 percent of all Americans this age. In education, within the Asian origin group, Indian-Americans have the highest level of educational attainment among Asian Americans, with 72 percent holding a bachelor’s degree or more in 2015.

However, Asian-Americans have a lower homeownership rate (57 percent) than the U.S. public overall (63 percent). All Asian-headed households — except for those headed by a Vietnamese (65 percent) or Japanese (63 percent) individual — are less likely to own a home than American households overall. Nevertheless, homeownership is on the rise among Asian-Americans. In terms of English language proficiency, Indian-Americans fare better than many Asian subgroups. Indian-Americans (80 percent) speak English proficiently, the third highest after Japanese and Filipinos.

By contrast, Bhutanese (27 percent) and Burmese (28 percent) — both groups with large populations of recently arrived immigrants — have some of the lowest rates of English proficiency. Overall, seven-in-ten Asians in the U.S. aged 5 and older spoke English proficiently in 2015, although the share varies widely across the subgroups.

In terms of population, no single country-of-origin group dominates the U.S. Asian population, but the largest groups are of Chinese, Indian and Filipino origin.

As of 2015, 24 percent of Asian-Americans (4.9 million) were of Chinese origin, the largest single origin group, followed by Indian-origin Asians, who accounted for 20 percent of the national Asian population (4 million), and Filipinos (19 percent or 3.9 million).

The modern immigration wave from Asia has accounted for one-quarter of all immigrants who have arrived in the U.S. since 1965.

Today 59 percent of the U.S. Asian population was born in another country. That share rises to 73 percent among adult Asians.

“Fast population growth suggests that Asian-Americans they will eventually be the nation’s largest immigrant group. Looking forward, Asian-Americans are projected to become the largest immigrant group in the country, surpassing Hispanics in 2055.

In 50 years, Asians will make up 38 percent of all U.S. immigrants, while Hispanics will make up 31 percent of the nation’s immigrant population,” the study noted.

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