Meet America's No. 3 immigrant group

They hail from India, and most are well-educated English speakers, helping their entry into the workforce.

By Bruce Kennedy Aug 26, 2013 6:46AM

Indian immigrant Arshi Khan takes the oath of citizenship at naturalization ceremony on February 14, 2013 in Tampa, Fla. (© John Moore/Getty Images)Interesting new data are out regarding immigration trends in the U.S. According to the Migration Policy Institute think tank, Indians are now the third-largest immigrant group by country of origin, after Mexicans and Chinese.

About 2 million Indian immigrants were living in the U.S. as of 2011, and as a percentage of all foreign-born people here went from less than 0.5% in 1960 to nearly 5% of the country's 40.4 million immigrants last year.

The study noted that Indians generally arrive "on employment-based visas, and are less likely to live below the federal poverty line than the overall foreign-born population."

The institute used data from the Census Bureau and the Department of Homeland Security, and its report offers some insights into America's Indian immigrant community and their place in the U.S. workforce.

  • Nearly one-third of all Indian immigrants live in just two states.

    California had the largest number of immigrants from India in 2011 at 380,000, followed by New Jersey with 210,400. And three metro areas in the U.S. are home to more than 25% of all those immigrants: greater New York, Chicago and San Jose.

  • Most Indian immigrants to the U.S. already speak English and have strong educational backgrounds.

    More than 70% of these immigrants have proficient English language skills. And of the adult Indian immigrants to the U.S. in 2011, 75% had a bachelor's degree or higher.

  • They're more likely to work in the science and technology sectors.

    Hardly a big surprise, but more than 29% of employed, Indian-born men in the U.S. work in info-tech, while 19% of Indian-born women are employed in management, finance and business positions.

  • They become U.S. citizens at a high rate.

    Nearly 43,000 Indians became naturalized U.S. citizens last year (pictured), making them the third-largest country of origin group to naturalize in 2012 after Mexicans and Filipinos.

There were also about 2 million Indian nonimmigrants in the U.S. in 2011, mostly temporary workers, students and visitors. And according to the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Immigration Statistics, less than 2% of all unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. in 2011 were from India.

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Aug 26, 2013 9:30AM
Welcome!  I say welcome to those who come to the US the right way.
Aug 26, 2013 9:44AM
Congratulations to them for immigrating the legal way.
But of course,  they are mostly coming to take jobs from existing citizens because they can do the math and they will work for half the going rate.

Once again,  citizens are penalized for being...............uh,  citizens.

When you wonder why you can't get your job back after a 6 year recession,  look who is filling those positions.  And don't forget that your leaders sold you out long ago for some re-election contributions,  gifts,  vacations,  and overpaid lobbyist sweetheart positions after they 'retire'  from politics.
The corruption continues!

Aug 26, 2013 9:51AM
I think all Immigration should be stopped until our idiots in the Federal Government can keep up with who is coming in and who is going out and until all ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS are deported and the border secured. I also think it's about time we stop allowing immigration from any and all ISLAMIC countries. Why in Sam Hell do we keep letting these a$$wipes into our country when we know they hate us, don't want to assimilate and are planning our demise. Are our politicians really that stupid? Do you people know that every year, even during this terrible recession when millions were unemployed and looking for work our Federal Government was allowing 140,000 LEGAL, mostly skilled, immigrants into the country every month to take our jobs. We need to stop the BS and fire every POS politician in DC. For the sake of the country, quit voting for the incumbent.
Aug 26, 2013 9:43AM
No matter what liberals say, America is getting to be more like a 3rd world country every day, in all the bad ways. To those who state the false argument  of "what Americans are going to do low level physical jobs immigrants will do? I say, who did them before immigrants came? Americans did them.

Aug 26, 2013 9:32AM

Are these people taking the jobs "Americans can't or won't do"?  NO.

Sorry, but while I do acknowledge and accept that at least they're coming legally, they are taking jobs Americans are qualified and want to do.

However, "legally" is dubious at best.  Many come on H1B visas and work in call centers established by other Indians who are often bringing over immediate and extended families and friends.  Not necessarily the "scientists" that are supposed to be getting the H1B visas.


Aug 26, 2013 9:42AM

"They speak English and have strong educational backgrounds." That's a laugh. Most of the Indians I encounter are working as customer service reps and their accents are so thick and they talk so fast you can't understand a word they're saying. I deal with one company whose a/r rep is Indian and I refuse to answer the phone when she calls because I can't understand a damned word that comes out of her mouth. I don't want to insult her or the company be requesting they have some one call who can speak proper I send e-mails to the company with whatever info they need.

Aug 26, 2013 9:40AM
They have taken over the hospitality industry, gas stations, convenience stores. donut shops. AND have the donuts gotten small.  I dread going to a hotel and finding they are the inn keepers.  They do not have the same standards and don't have a concept for customer service.  Soup Nazi like.  You don't like it, get out.  Once, when you still used cash for gas.  I went in to pay, and my hand touched the owner, when passing the cash. I got such a look of disgust.  I'll never forget that.  It's bad, that they get thrown in the same pot as ones, we consider terrorism material, but that's the breaks.  The Mexicans do the manual labor and they do the customer support for companies.  I just hate when I can't understand their English and they will not deviated from their written script when you call.  Glad there is more and more American based customer service starting again.     
Aug 26, 2013 9:58AM
As long as they go through the process, I'm fine with it.  If they just hop a fence and declare themselves citizens, I am thouroughly against it....and the amnesty that's being pushed by Rubio, Lindsay Graham, John McCain, Chuck Schumer, Nanny Pelosi, and all of the other traitors in the Congress.
Aug 26, 2013 10:25AM
I have a-lot of respect for Indian people. They teach their children that education is important, they believe in non-violence, they are not religious fanatics and believe in Karma and tolerance. 
Aug 26, 2013 9:41AM
We have lots of Indian people here in NJ and I find them very pleasant and they hold jobs.  I don't know of any on welfare.  
Aug 26, 2013 9:20AM
Well, DUH! They can afford to come here legally from far away, instead of sneaking over a border.
Aug 26, 2013 9:25AM
They don't fall below the federal poverty line because they get special government loans  to start  business. Got to wonder why?
Aug 26, 2013 10:03AM
Doesn't anyone want to stay in their own country and fix its problems?  Then they immigrate and want to bring their cultural baggage with them.  The US should stop all immigration.
Aug 26, 2013 9:59AM

They cannot come into the USA to work in "factories".  No.

They cannot come into the USA to mow grass or take low paying jobs.  No.

They can ONLY come in if they will compete in our highest tech industries “where the future of our economy is going to be” and to drive salaries down (for people that have spent years trying to get ahead in high tech, taking out student loans, etc).

Why you ask? Well so that firms like Microsoft and Oracle and the big 3 consulting firms (that spend billions lobbying congress) can "keep costs down and profits high"... These high tech companies have NEVER, EVER lost money and while they may "lay-off" once in is always in the US and NEVER folks at the top and had the same “shortage of high tech workers” 25 years ago (funny those companies NEVER seem to have lost money, ever yet I have been laid off multiple times in the last 20 years).  ...And of course these companies get nice tax breaks for doing this as well!

And that is a MINIMUM of 45,000-65,000 a year since the 1980s regardless of our current unemployment rate!!!

Regardless of party, political affiliation or even the ISSUE they all have one very simple fix: CAMPAIGN FIANCE REFORM!

Aug 26, 2013 9:27AM
Soon we will have the problems here that are ion the Middle East. America is becoming a cesspool and not a melting pot.
Aug 26, 2013 9:55AM
I am the strongest opponent of any immigration you will every find.  But this Indian group is the most palatable.  Polite, well-behaved children and most importantly a desire to do well.  With the stinking mexicans all they want to do is scrape by and produce baby gang members. 
Aug 26, 2013 9:40AM

We need more immigrants (and natural born citizens) who work hard and fewer to live on the dole.

Aug 26, 2013 9:45AM

Unfortunately, it would appear that some who hail from the Hindu "upper caste" tend to bring that mindset with them, forgetting we are not a nation of "Dalits". This excludes the regular schlepps who seem to be able to get along just fine with everyone. The accents can be tough to crack, though, sometimes. With a little patience, you can communicate. At least one of the other groups mentioned can't seem to fathom that English is the language of the U.S. and can't or won't learn it.

Aug 26, 2013 9:34AM
There are a few also in NY, and ALL the ones I know, have Masters or PHD, since USA secretly asks for them to come here, like they did for me 42 years ago from EU with high education/IQ, and USA hires us away from EU, to try to stem the technology staying above USA standard outside-- (like computer chip manufacturing still being the leaders in Germany) Unfortunately ordinary US people never hear this on Fox news!--Thus the reason those types spend so much time sitting here dissing on emigrants, emigrants which 99.2 %  of all people here are  anyway.--My wife is the 28th generation of Eric the Red!--Yes, those Vikings! The predecessor for the now "modern types" USA types attacking and plundering others.
Aug 26, 2013 9:23AM
oh yeah! Mexicans are taking the American's jobs.
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