Indians now the third largest immigrant group in the US

NEW YORK (TIP): Mexicans and Chinese alone are ahead of India when it comes to considering the presence of immigrant groups in the US. Indians have emerged as the third largest immigrant group in the United States with their numbers touching 1.9 million as of 2011. The Indian-born population in America has grown by over 150 times in size since 1960, says a new study from the Washington-based Migration Policy Institute. Back in 1960, America had just about 12,000 Indianborn immigrants, accounting for less than 0.5 per cent of the total immigrant population of 9.7 million immigrants at that time.

Now, the US immigrant population stands at 40.4 million, with Indians representing almost 5 per cent of the total. “As a group, immigrants from India are better educated, more likely to have strong English language skills and arrive on employment-based visas, and are less likely to live below the federal poverty line than the overall foreign-born population,” says the study. In 2011, India was the second most common country of origin for international students at US institutions of higher learning, after China. Although the Indian immigrants are scattered all over America, more than one-quarter of them live in just three metropolitan areas: Greater New York, Chicago and San Jose in California’s Silicon Valley. Nearly one-third of the community resides in just two states: California and New Jersey.

California alone accounts for 21 per cent of the Indian population, followed by New Jersey (11 per cent), Texas (9 per cent); New York (8 per cent), and Illinois (7 per cent). According to the figures cited by the study, more than 29 per cent of employed Indian-born men worked in information technology occupations, while 19 per cent of employed Indian-born women worked in management, business and finance. In 2012, more than 66,000 Indian-born immigrants were granted US legal permanent residency or green cards, the study says, noting that compared to other immigrant groups, Indians have made it largely through the employment-based channel. About 43,000 Indian immigrants became naturalized US citizens in 2012. The share of Indian immigrants who have naturalized (47 per cent) is said to be slightly greater than that of the overall foreign-born population (45 per cent).

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