Asian immigrants are doing well, but African immigrants are doing poorly in Minnesota
Asians living in Minnesota, thanks in part to an emerging Hmong middle class, have pulled nearly even with whites in economic success, according to a U.S. Census Bureau survey.
The trend is also being fueled by a surge in the number of well-educated immigrants from India, the Census Bureau planned to report Tuesday.
However, other large racial and ethnic groups, especially African immigrants, are sliding backward, apparently because a strong tide of newcomers just starting out is diluting strides being made by those who have been in Minnesota longer.
Here is some data on the African immigrants:
The statistical category "African American" in Minnesota is distorted because more than 50,000 are immigrants and refugees or their children. All but a handful have arrived in the past 15 years.
The statistics suggest that the most recent arrivals are the least positioned to do well economically at first: The college graduation rate for African immigrants in Minnesota, for instance, has fallen since 2000.
Many of the African newcomers are refugees from Somalia, which hasn't had a functioning government since the early 1990s.
Most recent arrivals have been in refugee camps for years, disconnected from formal schooling, said Hussein Samatar, a Somali immigrant who is now executive director of the African Development Center of Minnesota in Minneapolis.
"They are extremely less educated than those who came earlier," he said.
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