Over the past 30 years the number of Asians in America has quadrupled to 18 million, or roughly 6% of the total U.S. population. But their economic impact is much greater. They are far more likely to be involved in technology jobs than other ethnic groups, constituting over 20% of employees in the nation’s leading technology companies, four times their share of the overall U.S. workforce. And then there’s the line of connections to the most dynamic economies on the globe: India, South Korea, Singapore and, of course, China.
Asia has become the nation’s largest source of newcomers, accounting for some 36% of all immigrants in 2010. Asian immigrants and their U.S.-born descendants tend to be better educated: half of all Asians over 25 have a college degree, almost twice the national average. They earn higher incomes, and, according to a recent study by the Pew Research Center, are more likely to abide by “traditional” values, with a stronger commitment to family, parenting and marriage than other Americans, and a greater emphasis on education.
“Most Asian immigrants bring with them a healthy respect and aspiration for the American way of life, so I don’t think any immigration alarmists need to be anxious,” notes Thomas Tseng, founding principal at New American Dimensions, a Los Angeles-based marketing firm. “With a large influx of them, you will get a lot of their kids in the school system who are told that getting an education is the surest way for them to succeed in life, a great deal of entrepreneurial energy and new businesses in a region, and most certainly the local restaurant scene will improve.”
Asians are increasingly headed to regions that, until recently, had very few Asian immigrants. And throughout the country, Asians, following a trend that has been developing over the past two decades, appear to be settling primarily in the suburbs.
Although greater New York’s Asian population grew by an impressive 500,000, up 40%, our analysis of the 2010 Census numbers found a higher rate of growth — more than 70% — in relatively new destinations, Dallas and Houston.