Pew Research: Asians thrive in America

Over the past few decades, Asian countries have achieved remarkable economic success that has shocked the world. Undoubtedly, the nations are backed by people who value education and career success, and who believe in hard work and strive to become financially wealthy.
Indeed, Asian people are one of the most diligent and intelligent race in the world – and they carry their cultural values and beliefs with them when they settle down overseas.

The first wave of Asian immigrants came to the US as low skilled, low waged and isolated hard labours who became the targets of discrimination. However, the current wave of Asian immigrants is strikingly different. Having arrived in America at time when their home countries are enjoying an unprecedented economic boom, they have high education credentials, accumulate stunning amount of wealth, and hold an optimist outlook for their life in the US – for its financial opportunity, political freedom and good education system for their children.
A recent study released by the Pew Research Centre found that Asian Americans are emerging as the highest-income, best-educated and fast-growing racial group in the US, a sharp contrast to their historical counterparts who arrived in America a century ago. A growing number of Asians are getting into high paying jobs.

With 61% of them holding at least a bachelor’s degree, Asian American newcomers possess striking education credentials, making them the most highly educated ethnic group in US history. Asians are three times more likely than others to get green card based on employment.
与此同时,亚裔移民的收入也更高。调查发现,亚裔移民年家庭收入中值高于当地的美国居民家庭(分别为$66,000元和$49,800元),他们的家庭财富中值也高于当地的美国家庭(分别为$83,500元 和$68,529元)。
They also make more. The median household income of Asians is higher than the local US citizens ($66,000 versus $49,800), as is their median household wealth ($83,500 vs. $68,529).

亚裔移民似乎也比其他美国民众更为满足。一项电话调查发现,对自身财务状况、整体生活水平和国家发展大方向表示满意的亚裔移民比率高于整体美国民众(比率分别为51% 和 35%, 82% 和 75%,43% 及 21%)。同时,亚裔移民也更具成功感。约有43%的美国亚裔认为自己比其他族裔群体更成功。与此同时,认为自己不够成功的拉丁裔人数是亚裔的四倍之多。
Asians seem happier than the general public. A telephone survey found that more Asians are satisfied with their personal finances, their overall livelihood and the general direction of the county than the general public (51% vs. 35%, 82% vs. 75%, and 43% vs. 21% respectively). They are also more likely to perceive themselves as being successful. About 43% Asian Americans say they are more successful than other minority groups, while Hispanics are four times more likely than Asians to say they are unsuccessful.
亚裔移民具有很强的家庭价值观。亚裔移民结婚成家的比率大于美国人的整体水平,生活于单身家庭的比率最小(比率为16% vs. 41%),并且最有可能居住在数代同堂的家庭中。亚裔移民也有更强的孝敬意识,同时亚裔父母对子女的职业和配偶的选择有更强的影响力。有越来越多的亚裔进行异族通婚,搬入其他种族居住区。仅有11%的亚裔移民居住与亚裔聚居地,远远低于黑人的41%,和拉丁裔的43%。
 Asians also hold strong family values. More Asians are married than Americans, less likely to have a single family home (16% vs. 41%), and more likely to live in multi-generation families. They have a stronger sense of filial respect and Asian parents have a stronger influence on their children’s career and spouse choice. More Asians engage in interracial marriages, and move into racially mixed neighbourhood. Only 11% of Asians live in concentrated racial enclaves, compared with 41% for blacks and 43% for Hispanics.

Maybe all the achievements can be traced to the hardworking ethic Asians hold.  An overwhelming 70% of Asians, compared with 58% of Americans, say they can achieve higher if they work harder. They are also more likely to describe people in their home country as very “hardworking”, compared with 57% of Americans.
However, if diligence is overstressed, it may cause an adverse effect – including exerting too much stress and pressure -- onto their offspring. As the “Tiger Mom” triggered a heated debate over parenting norms in the mainstream, Asians seem to realize that they have much higher expectations for their children’s academic success than Americans. The research found that about 60% of Asian Americans say that American parents put too little pressure on their children’s academic success, while only 9% say the same about Asian parents.

Asian immigrants believe they’ve made the correct decision to move to the US, despite the fact that the living standard in their home country has seen dramatic gains. Only 12% of Asians say they regret their decision to be immigrants, and the return rate of Asian immigrants is the lowest among all immigrant groups. The truth is that no matter where they live, Asians would stick to their strong values and beliefs, and work hard to thrive.  

Note: The story was published in Chinese News in November, 2012.

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