Asian Americans: The Best-Educated, Highest-Income, Fastest Growing Race in the Country
A century ago, the majority of Asian Americans were low-skilled, low-wage laborers, crowded in ethnic enclaves and targets of discrimination – today they are considered to be the best educated and fastest-growing racial group in the United States.
Times have certainly changed; Asian Americans are not the most likely of any major racial or ethnic group in America to live in mixed neighborhoods and marry across racial lines, according to the Pew Research Center.
Asians recently passed Hispanics as being the largest group of new immigrants to the United States. Further, their educational credentials of recent are quite remarkable, with more than six-in-ten (61%) of adults ages 25 to 64 who have come from Asia in recent years and have at least a bachelor’s degree. These stats make the recent Asian arrivals the most highly educated cohort of immigrants in U.S. history.
Recent Asian immigrants are also on average about three times as likely
as recent immigrants from other parts of the world to receive their green cards, or permanent residence status, on the basis of employer rather than family sponsorship.
In 2011 the total population of Asian Americans – foreign born and U.S. born, adults and children – was a record 18.2 million or 5.8% of the total U.S. population, up from less than 1% in 1965.
Despite the sizable subgroup differences, Asian Americans are distinctive as a whole, especially when compared with all U.S. adults, whom they exceed not just in the share with a college degree (49% vs. 28%), but also in median annual household income ($66,000 versus $49,800) and median household wealth ($83,500 vs. $68,529).
The Pew Research Center also found that they are more satisfied than the general public with their lives overall (82% vs. 75%), their personal finances (51% vs. 35%) and the general direction of the country (43% vs. 21%). This was found in a survey of a nationally representative sample of 3,511 Asian Americans.