Immigration to United States has been a trend since years, especially from India. But, when did it all started? Studies say that the first immigrant group from India to US was a very small number during the 19th century, those of the low-skilled farm laborers. However, things are changing and in the past few decades, the Indian population in the United States has grown exponentially. As of 2015, the mark of Indian immigrants in the USA reached 2.4 million which is by now over 3 million (exact statistics not revealed for the year 2018).
Getting into a few more details on the migration of Indians to the US, we could figure out that 12,000 Indians in different groups migrated to the United States in 1960, only 0.5 of the total 9.7 million immigrant population. Later, an increase in the number of migrating Indians was seen from 1965 to 1990 with the legislative changes opportunities of temporary skilled worker programs, creating employment based permanent Visas and most important removal of national-origin quotas.
Demographic Characteristics of the Indian Population in the United States
- Indian Population in the USA doubled since 2000 and became the second largest group of Asians in the US in 2015, after China.
- Indian immigrants are the third largest group of US immigrants preceded by the Mexican and Chinese population in USA
- Indian Americans or the Indian populations in the US are highly educated with 72% educated Indians in the US in comparison to the education percentage of 30% General US population and 57% of the US Asians.
- Indian immigrants are higher in position when it comes to household income with their $100k median household income among General US population ($53k) and US Asians ($73k).
- In naturalization rates, Indian immigrants in the USA got a massive increase between years 2005 and 2015.
- Studying the poverty graph of the United States, only 7.5 % of the Indian immigrants are living in poverty.
- Around 57% of the Indian immigrants are living in the United States for 10 years or more, as per the demographic reports of 2015.
- The large metropolitan cities of the USA are the ones with Indian residents. The cities with Indian population (highest to lowest) are New York, Chicago, San Francisco, San Jose, Washington DC, Los Angeles, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia and Atlanta.
Indian American Culture
Despite such strong demography in the United States, Indian Americans are not yet at the point to influence the mainstream US culture. Today, a majority of Indian Americans are migrating to the US for higher studies or work and business prospects. People book cheap flights to USA from India and hope to have a better future financially and academically in the foreign country. Undoubtedly, the motive is fulfilled as the Indian American community is way ahead than the general US population and US Asians in the academic field and have got higher household income than the other communities. However, the other fields like art, music and entertainment are quite unexplored by the Indian community in the US.
As there are exceptions everywhere, we have a few names promoting Indian American culture in the US with their talent such as Jhumpa Lahiri (Award winning Indian American Writer), Priyanka Chopra (Bollywood Cross Actress), but again, this is rare and far between.
When it comes to education and institutions, there are colleges and organizations where Indian Americans get little scope to learn foreign languages like Urdu, Hindi or Sanskrit. To the contrary, the Japanese and Chinese population in the USA gets a better option of foreign language learning with Japanese and Chinese being the top 10 international languages taught in schools and colleges in United States.
Life in USA for Indian Immigrants
Extracted from a friendly survey, Indian immigrants or the NRIs in the United States move to the foreign country booking last minute flights or sometimes even business class flights hoping for better education, work and growth opportunities and it’s undoubtedly true, they get it. However, after a certain period of time when those young Indian Americans reach an age of 50 or more, realization takes a toll. They realize how happiness faded away eventually and they have limited or no relationships. The phases of life in USA for Indian immigrants are more or less initiated from transformation and ends in suffering.
Undeterred by the consequences, immigration from India is still in fashion for the better education and income opportunities in the USA. With the ever changing immigration policies, the Indian population in the USA in 2018 is still increasing the bar over 4 million approximately.