This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 13th (it will be out in January 2020), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Asians Surpass Latinos Among New US Immigrants

A new report released today by the Pew Research Center shows that Asians now outnumber Latinos as immigrants and thus are the largest group of newcomers to the US. This is partly because the number of  Asian immigrants has been rising steadily on an annual basis, but more importantly because the number of migrants from Mexico has dropped off precipitously. There are, of course, two important differences between the average migrant from Mexico (who dominate the Latino immigration numbers) and those from Asia--the latter are much more educated and are much more likely to be legal immigrants. 
More than six-in-ten (61%) adults ages 25 to 64 who have come from Asia in recent years have at least a bachelor’s degree. This is double the share among recent non-Asian arrivals, and almost surely makes the recent Asian arrivals the most highly educated cohort of immigrants in U.S. history.
Furthermore, Asians have overcome incredible cultural obstacles in terms of adapting to life in the US:
A century ago, most Asian Americans were low-skilled, low-wage laborers crowded into ethnic enclaves and targets of official discrimination. Today they are the most likely of any major racial or ethnic group in America to live in mixed neighborhoods and to marry across racial lines. When newly minted medical school graduate Priscilla Chan married Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg last month, she joined the 37% of all recent Asian-American brides who wed a non-Asian groom.
In the end, this is what assimilation is all about. Robert Mare at UCLA has written for years about the trend towards educational homogamy in marriage--people are increasingly attracted to those of the same educational level, rather than by the former markers of religion or race/ethnicity. Thus, a migrant to the US has an obvious vastly superior chance of assimilating if they are legal and better educated. Now, if only the labor market wanted only those kinds of immigrants...

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