South Asians led all Asian groups in the United States in the rate of population growth from 2000 to 2010, according to a new compilation of 2010 census data.
Bangladeshi Americans had the biggest percentage increase over the decade, skyrocketing 157%. The Pakistani population had the second highest population bump with a 100% rise. The Sri Lankan and Indian American populations increased 85% and 68%, respectively.
The next five highest percentage increases among Asian American population groups were: Taiwanese, 59%; Thai, 48%; Indonesian, 51%; Filipino, 44%; and Vietnamese, 42%.
The total number of Indian Americans in the U.S. in 2010, including Asian Indians of mixed race, was 3,183,063. Indian American made up 18% of the Asian American population in 2010, up from 16% in 2000.
The 2010 count for other South Asian American groups (including mixed race) was: Pakistanis, 409,163; Bangladeshis, 147,300; Sri Lankans, 45,381, making the total South Asian American population of 3,781,907 in 2010.
Chinese Americans (not including Taiwanese, who are counted separately by the Census Bureau) remained the most populous Asian group in the U.S. with a population of 3,794,673. Filipinos were second at 3,416,840 and Vietnamese were fourth with a population of 1,737,433 in 2010.
According to 2007 to 2009 data, Indian Americans led all Asian American groups in the country in median household income at $86,660. The next highest total was $77,596 for Taiwanese households.
Taiwanese and Indians also led in per capita income among Asian American groups, with $38,312 and $36,533, respectively, followed by Malaysians ($33,264) and Sri Lankans ($32,480).
The study, “A Community of Contrasts: Asian Americans in the United States, 2011,” was issued by the Asian Pacific American Legal Center and the Asian American Justice Center.
Other data in the report showed the Bangladeshi community in America had one of the lowest rates among all Asian groups of mixed race population at 4%. Generally, South Asians intermarry with other races less frequently than other Asian groups.
Only 6% of Pakistanis, 8% of Asian Indians and 9% of Sri Lankans were counted in the 2010 census as being of mixed race.
The Asian group with the highest rate of mixed-race individuals was Japanese Americans at 35%. Only 3% of Hmong and Bhutanese were of mixed race.
According to the 2007-09 American Community Survey, naturalization rates are highest for Vietnamese at 73%, followed by Taiwanese at 67% and Filipinos at 64%. Among the South Asian groups, Pakistanis had the highest rate of naturalization at 57%, while just 50% of Bangladeshi Americans, 47% of Indian Americans and 43% of Sri Lankan Americans were naturalized.
The largest number of legal permanent residents, by country of birth in 2008, eligible to become citizens was from the Philippines at about 280,000, followed by 200,000 from India Americans and a similar number from Vietnam.
These totals could become significant in next year’s presidential election, as Asian American groups seek to register naturalized citizens and get them to the polls.
Sri Lankans had the highest foreign-born rate of all Asian groups at 76%, followed by Malaysians (73%), Bangladeshis (73%), Indians (70%), Taiwanese (68%), Pakistanis (65%), Koreans (65%), Indonesians (65%) and Vietnamese (64%).
The leading six Asian countries for immigrant visas issued from 2001-2010 were: Philippines, 350,694; China, 286,008; India, 267,403; Vietnam, 193,049; Bangladesh, 84,643; Pakistan, 69,202.
Of the immigrants from India granted permanent resident status in 2010, 45%, or 31,118 people, came the U.S. on employment-based visas; 32%, or 21,831, were immediate relatives of U.S. citizens; 21%, or 14,636, came under family-sponsored preferences; and 2% (1,324) were granted status as refugees or under asylum statutes.
Pakistan, by contrast, had 34%, or 6,247, under family-sponsored preferences; 16%, or 2,896, on employment-based visas; 47%, or 8,522, as immediate relatives on U.S. citizens, and 3%, or 507, refugees or asylum grantees.
The report estimated that in 2010 there were about one million undocumented immigrants from Asia in the U.S. About 280,000 were from the Philippines, 200,000 from India, 170,000 from Korea and 130,000 from China. India’s total was down from an estimate of over 275,000 in 2005.
According to the report, South Asians are more likely than the other Asian subgroups to speak a language other than English at home. Bangladeshis have the highest percentage at 92%, followed by Hmong (91%), Pakistanis (86%), Vietnamese (84%), Taiwanese (82%), Laotians (81%), Cambodians (81%) and Asian Indians (77%).
From 2005-09, Hindi speakers in the U.S. were estimated at 527,481, trailing only speakers of Chinese (2,380,453), Tagalog (1,441,799), Vietnamese (1,200,709) and Korean (1,041,030) among Asian languages.
Numbers of speakers of other South Asian languages were: Urdu, 326,310; Gujarati, 304,102; Punjabi, 209,835; Bengali, 188,452; Telugu, 171,015; Tamil, 132,573; Malayalam, 116,486; Marathi, 53,436; Kannada, 37,377; Nepali, 37,240; and Sinhalese, 22,336.
Only 22% of Indian Americans five years of age and older from 2007-09 were limited English proficient, compared to 46% for Bangladeshis and 28% for Pakistanis.
Taiwanese and Indian Americans led all Asian groups in higher educational attainment, with 73% to 68%, respectively, having a bachelor’s degree or higher. In third place were Malaysians at 57%.
The percentage of Indian Americans living in poverty was 8% in the 2007-09 time period. Poverty rates were highest for Hmong (26%), Bangladeshis (20%), Cambodians (18%) and Pakistanis (15%). Both Indians and Pakistanis in the U.S. had 9% of the seniors ages 64 or above living in poverty. In the Bangladeshi community that figure was 16%.
The survey also has Asian American data on unemployment, occupations, home ownership, health disparities, suicide rates and the uninsured.