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US: China, India overtake Mexico as top immigrant-sending countries

world Updated: May 03, 2015 01:23 IST
Yashwant Raj

Next-door neighbor Mexico is no longer the top supplier of immigrants to the United States. It’s been beaten to it by not one but two countries: China and India, and in that order.

China became the top sending country of immigrants to the US according to numbers computed for 2013, and announced in a new study of immigration trends released Friday.

China was the top sending country with 147,000 followed by India with 129,000 and then Mexico with 125,000, according to census bureau’s American Community Survey for 2013. Numbers for Indians and Mexicans were not “statistically different” in 2013, said the study done by census bureau researchers, though Mexico was Number 1 in 2012.

The other significant contributors of immigrants, defined for the purpose of data collection as those living abroad until a year ago, were South Korea, Japan and Philippines.

And this is likely to hold as a trend, according the study: “The contribution of immigration to overall population growth will be greater for Asians than for Hispanics

Immigration from India to the US has been traced back to early 19th century — documented in pictures at the Smithsonian — with the first bunch arriving to work on railroads.

Most of them landed on the west coast. And California became home to them, and it remains to hold the largest concentration of Americans of Indian descent, ahead of New York.

“This new pattern in the national origins of recent immigrants marks a dramatic change from recent decades,” said the researchers in an extract form their study.

While Hispanics remains the largest racial or ethnic minority group, a larger percentage of Asians was foreign born (65.5) compared to Hispanics (35.1) in 2013.

The earliest wave of immigrants came to the US from northern and western Europe, followed by a phase dominated by those coming from southern and eastern Europe.

The most recent wave of immigrants, the researchers said in an abstract of the study, has largely been from Latin America, and to a lesser extent, Asia.

But does this recent trend signal to a “new and distinct wave” of immigrants remains to be seen, they added.