MPI Report: Indian Immigrants Third-Largest Group in U.S.

About 1.6 million Indian immigrants now live in the U.S., “making them the third largest immigrant group in the United States after Mexican and Filipino immigrants,” according to a recent report by the Washington-based Migration Policy Institute (MPI), a non-partisan think tank. (See Indian Immigrants in the United States, by Aaron Terrazas and Cristina Batog, Migration Policy Institute 09.Jun.2010.) As the study points out, this is not an enormous number when compared to the population of the Indian subcontinent; Indian immigrants in the United States are roughly equal in number to the population of the Indian city of Agra. Overall, about 2.3 million Indians and IndianAmericans (American-born people of Indian extraction) live in the U.S., about the same number as the population of the Indian city of Jaipur.  Of this number, 66.4 percent were born in India, 20 percent were born in the United States, and the rest were born in places such as Pakistan, Bangladesh, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, in East African or British Commonwealth countries.

According to MPI, Indian immigrants now outnumber Chinese and Hong Kong-born immigrants living here, for the first time since at least 1960. Among the MPI study’s other key findings:

  • Nearly three-quarters (73.5%) of Indian immigrants in 2008 were adults of working age, defined as being between the ages of 18 and 54.
  • Indian immigrants outstripped both native-born Americans and other immigrant groups in their academic achievements. Nearly three-quarters (73.6%) of Indian foreign-born adults had earned bachelors or higher degrees.
  • A higher percentage of Indian immigrant men (85.1%) participate in the civilian labor force, compared to other foreign-born men overall (80.5%). This statistic looks at men aged 16 and over. Indian immigrant women (55.5%), ages 16 and over, participate in the U.S. civilian labor force to a somewhat lesser degree than other immigrant women (57.1%).
  • 27% of Indian-born men in the U.S. civilian workforce are employed in the information technology sector; 20.2% work in management, business and finance, with 10.7% in other sciences and engineering, and another 10.6 percent in sales.
  • 15.7% of Indian-born women in the U.S. civilian labor force work in management, business, and finance, and another 13.6% work in IT fields.
  • Indian immigrants had a significantly lower rate of poverty (16.4%) than other immigrant groups (37.9%) and the native born (28.7%). Rates of homeownership were similar between Indian immigrants (57.9%) and other immigrant groups (56.5%), the MPI study found.
  • Over half a million Indian-born green card holders lived in the United States in 2008, the MPI found, and of these 220,000 were eligible to become U.S. citizens (naturalize).

The MPI study was based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau, and the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Immigration Statistics. It’s a fascinating statistical portrait of the Indian Diaspora in America, and it charts their increasing influence on the American economy and society. As a firm founded by an Indian immigrant, we at the Murthy Law Firm are proud to be a part of this trend!

Disclaimer: The information provided here is of a general nature and may not apply to any specific or particular circumstance. It is not to be construed as legal advice nor presumed indefinitely up to date.