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Asian Americans: Highest-Income, Best-Educated and Fastest-Growing Racial Group in the US

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by Damien Tomkins
Asian Americans increasingly contribute to the fabric of US society according to new report entitled "The Rise of Asian Americans" from the Pew Research Center. Image: Asian American Society of Central Virginia

“Asian Americans are the highest-income, best-educated and fastest-growing racial group in the United States” according to the latest report entitled The Rise of Asian Americans from the Pew Research Center. This report is an update of an earlier publication by the Pew Research Center released in March 2012 and that we previously covered here. Drawing on data from the 2010 census and a survey conducted in early 2012, the report highlights that Asians have recently surpassed Hispanics as  the largest group of new migrants to the United States. The number of Asians choosing to migrate to the United States has steadily increased since the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, and today Chinese Americans, Filipino Americans, Indian Americans, Vietnamese Americans, Korean Americans and Japanese Americans comprise over 80 percent of the 17.3 million Asian population resident in the United States.

Over 60 percent of new Asian immigrants have a bachelor’s degree and are three times more likely than other immigrant groups to receive their green cards based upon employment status, not family sponsorship. In addition, the median annual household income and household wealth for Asian Americans is above that of comparable U.S. adults. Asian immigrants place strong emphasis upon family values with 67 percent stating that being a good parent is “one of the most important things in life.” These values extend into the work ethic with 69 percent of respondents stating that they can “get ahead” in the United States through hard work.

John M. Tran, an immigrant from Vietnam, has just become the first Asian American to be elected as a judge to Fairfax County Circuit Court by the Virginia General Assembly. According to Judge Tran, “The opportunities are there regardless of where you come from. It is a privilege to have been given this opportunity by the General Assembly” as reported by the Washington Post. The Pew report finds that, overwhelming, “Asian Americans say the U.S. is preferable to their country of origin in such realms as providing economic opportunity, political and religious freedoms, and good conditions for raising children.”

The Asia Matters for America initiative has just released new data for each state and congressional district showing Asia Americans resident in that locale based on 2010 census data along with information on trade, employment, Asian students, travel and tourism, and more.  Click here for more details.