Monday, December 20, 2004

Asian American success rates

New research shows that not all Asian immigrants become American success stories:

Indian Americans have surged forward as the most successful Asian minority in the United States, reporting top levels of income, education, professional job status and English-language ability, even though three-fourths were foreign-born, according to U.S. census data released Wednesday.

The striking success of Asian Americans who trace their heritage to India contrasted with data showing struggles among Cambodian, Laotian and Hmong immigrants. Those three groups reported continued significant poverty rates, low job skills and limited English-language ability since their flight from war and political turmoil.

The research also shows significant variation in the educational and financial achievements of the different groups:

Median family income, for instance, ranged from $70,849 for Japanese and $70,708 for Asian Indians to about half that for Cambodians and Hmong. Indian men showed the highest full-time earnings, $51,900, about double the figure for Hmong men.

About 64% of Asian Indians held a bachelor's degree or more, the highest rate, compared with 7.7% for Laotians and 7.5% for Hmong, the lowest. More than three-fourths of Indians and Filipinos spoke fluent English, twice the rate for Vietnamese.

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