From The New York Times
Asians have surpassed Hispanics as the largest wave of new immigrants to the United States, pushing the population of Asian descent to a record 18.2 million and helping to make Asians the fastest-growing racial group in the country, according to a study released Tuesday by the Pew Research Center
While Asian immigration
has increased slightly in recent years, the shift in ranking is largely attributable to the sharp decline in Hispanic immigration, the study said.
Immigration scholars have attributed the decrease in Hispanic immigration
to a mix of factors, including the economic downturn in the United States, increased deportation and border enforcement by the American authorities, and declining birthrates in Mexico.
Tougher enforcement measures have made a greater impact on the Hispanic immigrant population than on the Asian immigrant population because a much higher percentage of Hispanics are in the United States without immigration papers, experts said. About 45 percent of Hispanic immigrants in the United States are here illegally compared with about 13 percent to 15 percent of Asian immigrants, Pew demographers found.
“A century ago, most Asian-Americans were low-skilled, low-wage laborers crowded into ethnic enclaves and targets of official discrimination,” the study said. “Today they are the most likely of any major racial or ethnic group in America to live in mixed neighborhoods and to marry across racial lines.”
At least 83 percent of the total Asian population in the United States traces its ancestry to China, the Philippines, India, Vietnam, the Korean Peninsula or Japan — and demographic characteristics can vary widely from group to group.
Indians, for instance, lead all other Asian subgroups in income and education, the report said. Indians, Japanese and Filipinos have lower poverty rates than the general public, while Koreans, Vietnamese and Chinese have higher poverty rates.