A recent study by American think tank organization Pew Research Center noted that Asian Americans were the fastest growing race amongst all others in America during the years 2000-10. Also, amongst the approximately 17.3 million Asian Americans, 18.4% or 3.2 million are Indians. And if this study is anything to go by, Indian Americans are emerging as the more educated and financially better off than the rest.
Amongst many other interesting statistics, the study pointed out that the median annual earnings for full-time working Indian Americans was $65,000 in 2010. NRIs have reason to rejoice as this is higher than all $48,000 for Asian American groups combined and also significantly higher than $40,000 for adults in US. At $88,000, Indian households in their aggregate capacity are also earning much more than then other Asian households combined ($66,000) and all households across America ($49,800).
Adding weight to this money talk, it emerged that only 9% of Indian Americans lived in poverty as compared to 12% for all Asian Americans and a 13% national poverty rate across the US. Survey aside, it is a generally accepted notion that the lure of the dollar and high income levels are primary reasons for immigration and brain drain from India to the US. And these findings about higher income levels for Indian Americans show that NRIs have been successful at achieving just that.
Serving a blow to the notion that Indians immigrating to America do little more than open up motels and 7/11 stores, the Pew Research Center study also pointed out that 70% of Indian Americans above the age of 25 were armed with at least a Bachelor’s degree. Amongst all Asian Americans, only 49% can boast of the same while a mere 28% of all Americans above 25 have a Bachelor’s degree at the least.
Indians in America are also the most fluently English speaking group among other Asian American groups. 76% of Indian Americans can speak English proficiently as compared to 63% for all Asian Americans combined. Although nearly 56% of Indian Americans are US citizens, nine out of ten are in fact, born overseas.
Some key traditions and norms of Indian culture also stood out as the survey noted that 71% of adult Indian Americans were married as compared to a national figure of 51% throughout US. Motherhood also came through as a priority for Indians as 8.4% of Indian American women between 18 and 44 years of age gave birth during the 12 months just before the American Community Survey (ACS) 2010. And out of all the Indian American mothers, only 2.3% were unmarried as compared to a national average of 37% and 15% of all Asian Americans.
Besides earnings, age, marriage and other demographic factors, the Pew Research Center study also focused on some key attitude trends among Indian Americans. Again we see the play of Indian values as 78% of them said that being a good parent was very important to them on a personal level. However 69% of them also believed that family ties in the country of their origin were significantly better as compared to within the US.
Indian Americans also emerged as politically leaning towards the Democratic Party. 65% of Indian Americans are either Democrats themselves, or lean towards Democrats. Additionally, out of all the Indian Americans, 65% approve of Barack Obama’s performance at the White House while only 22% disapprove. These figures could mean a solid vote bank for the Obama administration in the upcoming elections. Mr Obama, are you listening?