6% of Indian Americans live in poverty, least among Asians in US

Wednesday 10th April 2024 07:49 EDT

NEW YORK: A recent Pew survey has highlighted the socioeconomic disparities within the Asian American community, with Indian Americans and Filipino Americans emerging with the lowest poverty rates among Asian groups.

Contrary to the common portrayal of Asian Americans as educationally and financially successful, about 10% of Asian Americans overall live below the poverty line, as per a Pew Research Center analysis and US Census Bureau data. The study, conducted in 2022, revealed that more than 2.3 million Asian Americans, approximately one in ten, were living in poverty.

The poverty rates vary significantly across different origin groups. Burmese Americans (19%) and Hmong Americans (17%) were identified among the Asian-origin groups with the highest poverty rates in 2022, according to Pew.

An intriguing finding is that a considerable proportion of Asian Americans living in poverty, specifically one-third of those aged 25 and older, possess a bachelor’s degree. In comparison, only 14% of non-Asians in poverty hold a similar degree. Moreover, Asian Americans with at least a bachelor’s degree are notably less likely to live in poverty (5%) than those with lesser formal education (13%).

Immigrants constitute a significant portion of Asian Americans living below the poverty line, with nearly six in ten falling into this category. The survey indicates that a relatively small number of these immigrants are proficient in English, posing additional challenges in accessing resources and opportunities.

Among Asian immigrants living below the poverty line, 44% are proficient in English, whereas 61% of those above the poverty line exhibit proficiency in the language.

The geographical distribution of poverty among Asian Americans is also notable, with about one million residing in 10 US metropolitan areas. Particularly, New York City, Los Angeles, and San Francisco harbor over 500,000 Asians living in poverty collectively, accounting for 26% of all Asian Americans in poverty. Fresno, California; Buffalo, New York; and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania are among the metro areas with the highest poverty rates among Asian Americans.

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