Data File

Indians Most Affluent Immigrant Group

Indians have the highest income and are the most educated of all immigrant groups in the United States, according to a new report by the Census Bureau.

Foreign born population by country of birth

The bureau’s report, based on the 2007 American Community Survey, found that the median income of immigrant households from India at $91,195 was almost double the median household income of $46,881 of all foreign born households.

Indians also had the highest educational attainment of any foreign group, with 74% having a bachelor’s degree or higher, almost three times the national average of27%. Nearly two-thirds of Indians are in managerial and professional occupations, which is twice that for the country as a whole.

Notwithstanding the economic success of Indian immigrants, home ownership rates lagged for the community, with only 57% owning their homes, against an average of 55% among all immigrants and 67% nationwide. Immigrants from Philippines (69%), Vietnam (68%) and China (61%) had substantially higher home ownership rates.

Foreign born population by country of birth

Indian immigrants are also less likely to take out U.S. citizenship than immigrants from other Asian countries. Just 44% of Indian immigrants are naturalized, only marginally higher than the average for all immigrants. By contrast, 74% of Vietnamese, 64% of Filipino, 58% of Chinese and 54% of Koreans are naturalized citizens. One explanation for the lower naturalization rates is that Indian immigration to the United States is far more recent than these groups.

All the major Asian groups show a strong affinity to their native language. Almost 9 in 10 Indians speak a language other than English at home, even though two thirds report that they know English very well.

The 1.5 million Indian immigrants are the fourth largest foreign born group in the United States after Mexicans (11.7 million), Chinese (1.9 million) and Filipinos (1.7 million). In all, the country has 38.1 million immigrants, almost 12 percent of the U.S. population.  

Foreign born population by country of birth

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