The Rise of Asian Privilege

The diverse and heterogeneous population of Asian in the United States has grown dynamically from 11.9 million to 20.4 million or 5% of the total population between 2000 and 2015 according to the data statistics of Pew Research Center. Asian Americans, the fastest-growing minority in the United States, refer to the group of people with ethnic backgrounds in South Asia, Southeast Asia, and East Asia. Although these countries belong to a related ethnic group, or they have a particular nationality, they have significant differences when it comes to culture, language, educational level, and beliefs.

An example of this distinction is the language between two Filipino citizens who speak distinguished linguistics such as Tagalog or Kapampangan. Another instance would be the cultural diversity between the group of Chinese people from Hong Kong, Vietnam, or Jamaica. They do not share identical stories, only a distinct history of their respective nation.

The community of Bhutan, Nepal, and Burma contributed to the increasing population growth rate of Asian Americans within a span of 15 years. On the other hand, Laos and Japan experienced a slow population growth rate during the same period. Meanwhile, Chinese, Indian, and Filipino origin have the most number of people in the United States with 4.9 million (24%), 4.0 million (20%), and 3.9 million (19%) Asian Americans, respectively.

Contrary to their situation a century and a half ago where most Asian Americans were low-wage earners, less skilled, illiterate, and subject to discrimination, their group is now visible in the industry, universities, and private sectors. They exceeded the Westerners in two significant indicators — educational achievement and earnings. Asian Americans have the highest median income of $66,000, followed by the native White Americans with $54,000. Furthermore, they lead the other ethnic groups in achieving the highest educational attainment with 41% of the population, and half of the employed Asian Americans hold a superior position in their respective fields in science, engineering, finance or medicine. The Taiwanese Americans lead the other ethnic minority by a wide margin in terms of educational attainment with 73% rate, while the Laotian community has the lowest level of education with a 12% rate.

Sociological and psychological determinants are involved in the progress of the ethnic minority in the socio-economic scenario. Psychologically speaking, the positive stereotypes in Asian immigrants, such as intelligent, achievers, and successful boost their performance and improve their outputs. A survey conducted by the Pew Research Center showed that they value hard work, contentment, marriage, career, and parenthood compared to the native-born Americans. Seventy percent of Asian Americans believed that there is a reward in hard work compared to the 58% share of Westerners.

The evident population growth of the Asian Americans in the United States showed a significant benefit in their economic development. VivekWadhwa, an American academic and entrepreneur, pointed in an article on 2012 that Asian American consist of well-educated and profoundly skilled individuals who helped the US economic advancement with their innovative and efficient skills specifically in the field of the entrepreneur.