HomeAmericasIndo America6% Of Indian Americans Live In Poverty, Least Among Asians In US

6% Of Indian Americans Live In Poverty, Least Among Asians In US


6% Of Indian Americans Live In Poverty, Least Among Asians In US

India-West News Desk

NEW YORK, NY – 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.

Education & Language

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.

Where They Live

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.

Financial Support Source

A significant proportion of those in poverty (61%) have sought assistance from family or friends, while nearly half (49%) have turned to local, state, or federal governments for help. Additionally, some have sought support from religious institutions (21%) or Asian community groups (13%).

Interestingly, the reasons for immigrating to the US seem to influence the likelihood of receiving government assistance. For instance, a third of Asian immigrants who came due to conflict or persecution in their home country have received governmental support, compared to smaller shares of those who migrated for educational or economic opportunities or to be with family.

American Dream

Despite the challenges, there remains a sense of hope among Asian Americans living in poverty. Roughly 47% believe the American dream is out of reach, while others express optimism, with 15% stating they have achieved it and 36% believing they are on their way to achieving it.

Both Asian Americans living above and below the poverty line share similar views on what constitutes the American dream, with elements like freedom of choice, family life, children’s opportunities, and retirement being deemed important. Homeownership is also key, with 81% of Asian adults living in poverty and 87% of those living above the poverty line say owning a home is important to their view of the American dream.

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  • Is this really TRUE?

    I know people that are classified as POOR by the US Govt. that live and eat better than the upper middle class in India.

    Section 8 Housing
    Supplemental Social Security
    Food Stamps

    And more make life too easy. I even know a couple that never earned a penny in the USA live a good life unto their last day and fund a brother, who still owns has his own apartment. Funded the son’s business that was sold for ONE CRORE RUPEES right after the son migrated to the USA. Made another good chunk selling the agricultural lands and now the son, wife and grandson live and work in USA and bought a 2500 square feet home, one year after he arrived in the USA working a labor job.

    How was that done!

    Courtesy taxpayers slaving away and a little “dirty” smart!

    April 3, 2024
    • I also know a couple of people like that.

      April 3, 2024
  • Very true. Most of these( poor) people getting Food Stamps and SSA come in Mercedes cars and do nothing but produce kids to get more benefits and we, who worked hard to earn 40 Credits get meager Social Security benefit…

    April 3, 2024
  • Not surprising! Fluency in English, emphasis on education, and good work ethics may be factors that can explain low poverty rate of Indian Americans.

    April 4, 2024

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