Indian Americans best educated, top earners: US Census

February 20th, 2009 - 4:48 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Feb 20 (IANS) The 1.5 million Indian Americans in the US continue to top the US Census charts as the best-educated, highest-paid and top-placed community among the 38.1 million foreign-born population in the country.
As per a fresh analysis of data on the foreign-born population from the 2007 American Community Survey, 74 percent of Indian-born US residents had bachelor’s degree or higher, which was far more than the figure for people born in any other foreign country.

This was also nearly three times the 27 percent of the foreign-born and about 28 percent of the natives having bachelor’s degrees, showed the new analysis that was released by the US Census Bureau of the Commerce Department.

These figures come from the new detailed characteristic profiles on the foreign-born population, or people who were not US citizens at birth, available on the basis of their countries of birth.

“Among the foreign-born, those from India, Australia, South Africa and the Philippines have the highest median household incomes,” said the analysis, indicating the top positions Indian enjoy among the US workforce.

“The median household income for US residents born in India is $91,195 (per annum). The foreign-born from Somalia and the Dominican Republic had some of the lowest median household incomes,” the survey added.

For Indians, this is several notches higher than the median household income of $50,740 for the total population, $46,881 for the foreign-born population and $51,249 for the native population.

In terms of people careers, India-born residents were again on the top of the ladder with just 8.3 percent of the group’s population engaged in the so-called labour-intensive jobs.

This is, indeed, a long way from the days of early migration when Indians mainly came to the US as labourers to build the country’s railroad.

“US residents born in India have the highest percentage of civilian-employed people working in management, professional and related occupations,” the survey said, adding 69 percent of the population were in that category.

The survey showed that people from India ranked fourth in terms of sheer numbers when it came to the foreign-born living in the US.

Mexicans topped the list with 11.7 million, followed by China (1.19 million), the Philippines (1.7 million), India (1.5 million) and El Salvador and Vietnam (both 1.1 million).

“These new selected population profiles highlight the diversity among the many different foreign-born groups in the United States,” said Elizabeth Grieco, chief of the Census Bureau’s immigration statistics staff.

“This diversity is due in part to the way the various communities were established, whether it be through labour migration, family reunification or refugee flows.”

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