Shifts in Immigration Policies Boost Asian Immigrants’ Growth in the US

Asian-Americans have officially taken over Latinos as the largest stream of new immigrants in the United States. According to a recent study conducted by the Pew Research Center, Asian Americans are also the nation’s best educated and highest paid income ethnic group.  Although there are significant differences among Asian Americans which vary from their country of origin, they have become undeniably successful in their new country.

Along with being the best educated and the highest paid, the study found that Asian- Americans as a whole tend to be more satisfied than most Americans with their own lives and hold more traditional, conservative views on social issues such as marriage and parenthood.

History of Asian Immigration to the US

With the first large wave of Asian immigrants coming to the United States in the early 19th century by way of the West Coast (as opposed to Ellis Island in New York City), the numbers have swelled after a 1965 legislation allowing immigration from a wider range of countries.

Asian- Americans currently comprise of a population of 18.2 million or 6 percent.  However, nearly 8 million Asian Americans arrived in the United States in the last 30 years and three-quarters were born abroad.

Asian-American Demographics

Half of all Asian- Americans live in the Western part of the United States with California comprising of the largest number of Asian Americans of roughly 6 million.  However, close to thirty-one percent of Asian- Americans with the largest subgroup coming from India are living in the Northeast having a major impact in area like New York City.

More recent Asian-Americans who initially came to the United States as immigrants started to arrive in as the economy was starting to boom throughout many Asian capitals which led to an increase in the standard of living.  Thus, the study showed that many Asians decided to make a move to the United States due to shifts in a number of different areas including U.S. immigration policies and the need for science, engineering, and math graduates throughout the American labor force.

Currently, Chinese Americans make up the largest Asian immigrant group.  More than 4 million Americans identify themselves as Chinese followed by those from the Philippines, India, Vietnam, Korea, and Japan.

Experts have praised the Pew Research Center study noting that the numbers were likely to change the views of Asian- American scholars and the public alike.  In addition, due to their success, Asian- Americans are slowly being identified as an elite group with more than two-thirds of recent adult Asian Americans being currently enrolled as college students or graduate from a four-year college.

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Michael Niren

About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the Associate Member of the American Bar Association. Read more

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