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The report puts the figure of Pakistanis who are legal residents of the US at 120,000, with an additional 50,000 being eligible to naturalise. - Photo courtesy Creative Commons
The report puts the figure of Pakistanis who are legal residents of the US at 120,000, with an additional 50,000 being eligible to naturalise. - Photo courtesy Creative Commons

Pakistani-Americans have become the second fastest growing and the seventh largest group in the United States, research statistics have revealed.

The population size of Pakistani-Americans increased drastically and doubled between 2000 and 2010, according to a report published by Pew Research Centre last month, as 57 per cent of the foreign-born Pakistanis were naturalised between 2007 and 2009. The report puts the figure of Pakistanis who are legal residents of the US at 120,000, with an additional 50,000 being eligible to naturalise.

According to the report, 65 per cent of the Pakistani-Americans are foreign born. However, Pakistanis who were able to acquire the legal permanent resident status in 2010 were sponsored by their immediate family members whereas only 16 per cent entered the country on the basis of employer’s sponsorship.

The research also proved that more than 80 per cent of the Pakistani-Americans do not speak English at home and that 12 per cent of the Pakistani community, despite being a former commonwealth territory, suffers from linguistic isolation.

In terms of education, 55 per cent of the Pakistan-Americans hold an undergraduate or Master’s degree.

The per capita income of Pakistani-Americans was USD 24,663 from 2007 to 2009. Poverty rate in Pakistani immigrants hovers around 15 per cent. The research proclaimed that eight per cent of Pakistanis living in the US, aged 16 and above, are unemployed.

It is also proved that 55 per cent of the Pakistani-Americans live in rented premises whereas 14 per cent live in overcrowded households.

Asian Americans lead immigrants The overall findings of the report reveal that Asian-Americans are considered to be most influential, highly educated, working on higher pay scale and fastest growing racial community in United States. The same report also signified that they are more satisfied with respect to the economy, their finances and lay more emphasis on career, success, hard work and successful married life.

This, however, was not the case 100 years ago when Asian-Americans were discriminated on the basis of their colour and race, lived in isolation and worked for low wages. Recent trends also show that contemporary Asian-Americans are more likely to marry into another race and live in mixed neighbourhoods.

Most of the Asians who have succeeded economically are immigrants and 74 per cent amongst them were born outside the US. Of these, about half say that they do not speak English whereas the other half claim to be fluent in English.

According to the recent statistics, Asians have surpassed Hispanics as the largest group of new immigrants and their educational background is outstanding. Almost 61 per cent of the new arrivals have undergraduate degree which is almost double the percentage of education prevalent in non-Asian immigrants.

Contrary to the common belief, Asian-Americans are more likely to receive green card on the basis of their employer’s request rather than their family affiliations or sponsorship.

The immigrant influx is almost half a century old and these immigrants belong to various Asian regions such as Far East, Southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent.

However when residents Asian were interviewed and enquired about the state-of-affairs in their homelands, the results varied. Chinese living in china were more satisfied in terms of their economic growth and standard of living as compared to Chinese-Americans. Indian and Japanese-Americans were more satisfied with the situation in United States in contrast to their own countries.

Indian-Americans The report signified that Indian-Americans constitute the third largest group in Asian-Americans. A group of Asian-Americans from different origins were analysed based on their socio-economic lifestyles which proved that Indian-Americans lead all other groups significantly when it comes to income and education. Seven out of 10 Indian-Americans, aged 25, hold an undergraduate or a college degree.

The findings of the research proved that Indian-Americans have a very high income scale. Indian-American's median annual household income is USD 88,000 per annum as compared to USD 66,000 of Asian-Americans and USD 49,800 of an average American household.

On the far side of the socio-economic spectrum, Asian Americans hailing from Korea, Vietnam and China are poorer than the general public in US whereas people originating from India, Japan and Philippines are less poor than the aforementioned races.

Racial discrimination According to the findings of the research, many of the Asian-Americans do not feel discriminated in contrast to their predecessors who changed their abode in 19th and early 20th century.

One in five Asian-Americans claimed to have been treated unfairly on the basis of his/her race whereas one in ten admitted to have been called by an offensive name. About six amongst a cohort of 10 Asian-Americans said that they do not feel discriminated or feel that their origin matters when it comes to admission in a college or getting a job.

Identity crisis Despite high level of integration and inter-racial marriages, many Asian-Americans still feel culturally separated from other Americans. The sentiment varies according to the tenure of their duration of stay in the country.

According to the survey, 65 per cent of the American born Asians are of the view that they feel like typical Americans whereas 30 per cent of foreign born immigrants feel the opposite.

Political ideologies The survey signified that Asian-Americans are more likely to support an activist government rather than republicans. Half are democrats or lean democrats whereas on 28 per cent are GOP or lean GOP.

The survey also proclaimed that President Barrack Obama is supported more by Asian-Americans than other Americans as 54 per cent of them believe that he is doing his job well.

Fifty-five per cent of the Asian-Americans prefer big governments that ensure provision of services.

The author is a reporter at Dawn.com.