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Indian Americans are the richest ethnic group in the United States, earning a median income of $100,547 in 2013, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Compare that to $51,939, which was the median income for all Americans during the same period.
Many Indian Americans are recent arrivals to the United States. In 2010, more than 87 percent of Indian-American adults were foreign born, which might help explain their current success.
“Immigrants are more likely than the native born to hold a BA [bachelor’s degree] and they’re much more likely than the native born to hold a higher degree like a master’s degree,” said Leah Platt Boustan, an associate professor of economics at the University of California, Los Angeles, who has studied immigration patterns.
Americans of Indian descent do follow that pattern. They are among the most highly educated ethnic groups in the U.S. In 2010, 70 percent of those aged 25 and older had college degrees. Almost one-third (28 percent) of Indian Americans work in science and engineering fields, according to the 2013 American Community Survey and the Pew Research Center.
ASIAN AMERICANS BY DESCENT
Chinese (except Taiwanese) – 4.3 million
Filipino – 3.6 million
Asian Indians – 3.5 million
Vietnamese – 1.9 million
Koreans – 1.8 million
Japanese – 1.4 million
Overall, Asian Americans lead the way when it comes to earning money. There are 19.4 million Americans of Asian descent and their combined median income for 2013 was $72,472.
However, household earnings varied by Asian group. When it comes to Bangladeshi Americans, for example, the median income was $51,331. The poverty rate for Asian Americans was 12.7 percent in 2013, compared to 14.5 percent for Americans overall.
The U.S. Census Bureau released the above figures to coincide with Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month.
The commemoration was first established by Congress in 1978, and originally covered the first 10 days in May, which coincided with two important milestones in Asian/Pacific American history: the arrival the first Japanese immigrants on May 7, 1843, and contributions of Chinese workers to the building of the transcontinental railroad, which was completed May 10, 1869.
In 1992, Congress extended the observance to cover the entire month of May.