Asian Americans, the fastest growing racial group in the U.S., are more satisfied with their lives than the general American public, according to a new study released today by the Pew Research Center. Titled "The Rise of Asian Americans," it reports that:
most Asian Americans feel good about their lives in the U.S. They see themselves as having achieved economic prosperity on the strength of hard work, a character trait they say is much more prevalent among Asian Americans than among the rest of the U.S. population. Most say they are better off than their parents were at a comparable age.
Expanding on data gathered from the 2010 Census, the study takes a more detailed and specific look at the Asian American experience, examining areas such as their social, political, and family values, their sense of identity and belonging, their perceptions about discrimination, and "the nature of their ties to their countries of origin." For example, among U.S. Asians (which includes both citizens and non-citizens) 49% feel that their standards of living is "much better" than their parents', compared 36% of the general public who felt the same.
Some interesting points:
"Asian American" label has not been embraced by any group of U.S. Asians, be
they native born or foreign born. Most describe themselves by their country of origin, i.e. "Chinese American" or "Filipino American." Only 19% describe themselves as "Asian" or "Asian American," and 14% describe themselves as just "American." The Japanese make up the highest percentage (21%) of those who describe themselves as "American," as was the case with those who describe themselves as a "Typical American," at 50%, compared to 39% of all U.S. Asians.
Koreans most likely to socialize with those from same country of origin; Japanese least likely. 58% of Koreans say that all or most of their friends in the U.S. are of their same Asian country of origin, compared to 21% of Japanese, which falls in the bottom of the scale. This perhaps strongly correlates to the high percentage of Japanese comfortable with intergroup marriage, with 71% comfortable with marriage to someone not from their country of origin.
Hispanics More Likely than Asians to Migrate for Economic Reasons. While 21% of U.S. Asians migrated to the U.S. for economic reasons, 55% of U.S. Hispanics, in a similar survey by the Pew Hispanic Center from 2011, migrated for the same reason. Similarly, Hispanic Americans have a better view of the U.S. than Asian Americans when it comes to issues like "opportunity to get ahead" (87% Hispanics, 73% Asians), "Treatment of the poor" (69% to 64%), and "moral values of society" (44% to 34%).
Those are just some of the data sets included in this dense study. While it does go to show that Asian Americans are in fact the fastest growing group in the country, it also emphasizes this age-old argument: that not all Asians are alike. You can read the whole report here, and see for yourself.
Top: Distribution of Asian Americans in the U.S. Map by Pew Research Center.