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Indian Americans grow to 3.2 mn, top in income

According to 2007 to 2009 data, Indian Americans led all Asian American groups in the USA in median household income at $86,660. The next highest total was $77,596 for Taiwanese households.

business Updated: Nov 16, 2011 11:42 IST
Indian Americans

Some 3.2 million Indian Americans, including Asian Indians of mixed race, lived in the United States in 2010 as South Asians led all Asian groups in population growth in the last decade. They led all Asian American households with highest median household income.

At 3,183,063, Indian American made up 18 % of the Asian American population in 2010, up from 16 % in 2000, according to a new compilation of 2010 census data.

According to 2007 to 2009 data, Indian Americans led all Asian American groups in the country in median household income at $86,660. The next highest total was $77,596 for Taiwanese households.

Taiwanese and Indians also led in per capita income among Asian American groups, with $38,312 and $36,533, respectively, followed by Malaysians ($33,264) and Sri Lankans ($32,480).

Bangladeshi Americans had the biggest percentage increase over the decade, skyrocketing 157 %, according to the study, "A Community of Contrasts: Asian Americans in the United States, 2011," by the Asian Pacific American Legal Centre and the Asian American Justice Centre.

The Pakistani population had the second highest population bump with a 100 % rise. The Sri Lankan and Indian American populations increased 85 % and 68 %, respectively.

Among the South Asian groups, Pakistanis had the highest rate of naturalization at 57 %, while just 50 % of Bangladeshi Americans, 47 % of Indian Americans and 43 % of Sri Lankan Americans were naturalised.

About 200,000 Indian legal permanent residents were eligible to become citizens in 2008.

The leading six Asian countries for immigrant visas issued from 2001-2010 were: Philippines, 350,694; China, 286,008; India, 267,403; Vietnam, 193,049; Bangladesh, 84,643; Pakistan, 69,202.

The report estimated that in 2010 there were about one million undocumented immigrants from Asia in the US About 280,000 were from the Philippines, 200,000 from India, 170,000 from Korea and 130,000 from China. India's total was down from an estimate of over 275,000 in 2005.

From 2005-09, Hindi speakers in the US were estimated at 527,481. Numbers of speakers of other South Asian languages were: Urdu, 326,310; Gujarati, 304,102; Punjabi, 209,835; Bengali, 188,452; Telugu, 171,015; Tamil, 132,573; Malayalam, 116,486; Marathi, 53,436; Kannada, 37,377; Nepali, 37,240; and Sinhalese, 22,336.

Only 22 % of Indian Americans five years of age and older from 2007-09 were limited English proficient, compared to 46 % for Bangladeshis and 28 % for Pakistanis.

Taiwanese and Indian Americans led all Asian groups in higher educational attainment, with 73 % to 68 %, respectively, having a bachelor's degree or higher.

The %age of Indian Americans living in poverty was 8 % in the 2007-09 time period.

Both Indians and Pakistanis in the US had 9 % of the seniors ages 64 or above living in poverty. In the Bangladeshi community that figure was 16 %.