US study: Asians more educated, wealthier

LOS ANGELES — Asians are not just growing in number in America; they are also becoming more educated and affluent.

According to the “2008 statistical portrait of the Asian American and Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander populations”, almost half of the Asian population in the US, aged 25 and older, have a bachelor’s degree or higher level of education. This compares with 27 percent for all Americans.

There are now more than 14.9 million residents of Asian lineage. This group comprised about five percent of the total population, and a 3.2 percent growth between 2005 and 2006, the highest of any race group during that time period.

Most Asians – five million – live in California, also home to more than half of the four million Filipinos in the US. Filipinos (2.9 million) rank second behind the Chinese (3.6 million) in Asian population in the sunny state.

Los Angeles County has the most number of Asians (1.4 million) among U.S. counties; there are reportedly almost 500,000 Filipinos in the county. Other states where Asians congregate the most are New York (1.4 million) and Texas (882,000); although it’s in Hawaii where Asians comprise the highest proportion of the total population (56 percent).

The same study, produced by the US Census Bureau for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, projects that by 2050, there will be 33.4 million Asians in the United States. They would comprise 8 percent of the total population by that year

A huge 86 percent of the same age group, meanwhile, has at least a high school diploma. This is slightly higher than all Americans (84 percent). Moreover, more Asians aspire to higher education than other Americans in the same adult age bracket. Twenty percent of single-race Asians has a graduate (e.g., master’s or doctorate) or professional degree, compared with only 10 percent for all Americans.

Wealth has also been a defining factor for Asians in the past few decades. The median household income for single-race Asians in 2006 is $64,238, the highest among all race groups. In that category, the Asian Indians are tops with a median income of $78,315.

The more prominent Asian billionaires in the US are New Yorker real estate mogul Tamir Sapir, and the husband-and-wife computer chip team of Weili Dai and Sehat Sutardja.

To date, there are more than 1.1 million Asian-owned businesses in the U.S. with receipt of almost $330 billion, up almost 25 percent from the last decade. The rate of increase in the number of Asian-owned businesses was about twice that of the national average for all businesses.

Because of these, Asian companies—mostly Chinese and Asian Indian-owned—have given jobs to 2.2 million Americans (in 2002), generating nearly $52 billion in gross receipts.



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