Asians, the fastest-growing, highest-earning and best-educated race in the U.S., are almost as segregated from the nation’s white majority as they were two decades ago, according to a study released today, reports today’s Bloomberg News
“Specific Asian ancestries — including two of the largest, Chinese and Indians — are as isolated from the white population as Hispanics, according to the study by two Brown University sociologists. At the same time, Asians generally live in neighborhoods that are comparable — and in some ways “markedly better” — than those of whites, the study said.
“The Asian pattern is separate but equal (or even more than equal), raising questions about the prospect or value of their residential assimilation in the future,” wrote John Logan, who co-authored the report.
“The number of Asians in the U.S. surged 43.3 percent during the last decade, about four times faster than white population growth, to more than 17 million. Their ranks have more than doubled since 1990. Median household income has risen 2.3 percent to $70,815 for Asians since 2000 while white Americans have suffered a 1.1 percent drop.
“When viewed as a single race, Asians are less segregated than Hispanics or blacks. When Asians are divided into major ancestries, “they’re more segregated than we thought they were,” Logan wrote. Cultural values and the fact that a majority of Asians are immigrants are the likeliest reasons for their segregation, he said. While most immigrant groups assimilate over time, Logan said Japanese are the only Asian ancestral group that isn’t as segregated as the broader racial category. “There may be no motivation for spatial assimilation of these immigrant groups, that the current residential enclaves fully meet their needs in a way that could become self-reinforcing,” the authors wrote.
“The bulk of the nation’s Asian population consists of six ancestries with 1 million or more people each: Chinese, Indian, Korean, Japanese, Filipino and Vietnamese. All except Japanese are made up of a majority of immigrants. While Asians are the nation’s third-largest minority group, they’re concentrated heavily in three states. California accounts for 5.6 million of them, almost one-third of the nation’s Asian population. New York has 1.6 million, and Texas claims 1.1 million. Among U.S. metropolitan areas, New York and Los Angeles have the greatest numbers of Asians. New York’s Asian population consists primarily of Chinese and Indians; Los Angeles has a larger percentage of Filipinos, Japanese and Koreans. Texas leads the nation in its share of Vietnamese.”