Here Come the Asians

“Nation, we’re getting boxed in. Mexicans do the jobs we don’t want to do, and Asians do the job we’re not able to do.” – Stephen Colbert

Just after the 2000 Census, the Hispanic/Latino community overtook the Black/African American community as the country’s largest minority community. At the time, there were just over 35 million Hispanics in the US. Following the 2010 Census, that figure has grown to over 50 million. The US has more people of Spanish speaking origin than any other country in the world other than Mexico.

As usual though, the demographic tides are turning. According to a new study put out by the Pew Research Center, in 2010, for the first time Asian immigration  (430,000 arrivals) outnumbered Hispanic immigration (370,000 arrivals). Asians currently comprise the largest stream of immigrants in the country.

The reasons for the decline in the arrival of new Hispanics has been attributed to stricter border enforcement, decreased economic incentives caused by the US recession and declining birthrates in Mexico. A much greater share of Asian immigrants are recruited by US companies (almost half from India) and are still in high demand, in spite of the recession. What’s remarkable is that for the first time, a big group of newcomers is more educated and wealthier than the population at large.

In spite of the recent growth, Asians account for just over 5% of the total population. This figure is expected to reach 9% by the year 2050 – steady but not earth-shattering on its own. Taken into consideration along with the growth of other immigrant and minority communities, we see an increasingly colorful demographic picture in the coming decades. Keep in mind that until 1965, immigration from Asia was essentially forbidden.

Before you know it, these Asians will be branching out into less traditional professions. Watch out Mexicans.

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