The Lookout

Asian immigrants to U.S. surpass Hispanics for first time

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(Jeff Chiu/AP)

Asians have surpassed Hispanics as the largest group of new immigrants to the United States, according to a new study from the Pew Research Center.

The study, called "The Rise of Asian Americans" and released on Tuesday, reveals that Asian-Americans also have the highest income, are the best educated and are the fastest-growing racial group in America.

About 430,000 Asians—or 36 percent of all new immigrants—arrived in the United States in 2010, according to U.S. census data. About 370,000, or 31 percent, were Hispanic.

[Related: U.S. Census: Minority babies now majority, surpassing whites for first time]

The wave of incoming Asians pushed the total number of Asian-Americans to a record 18.2 million, or 5.8 percent of the total U.S. population, according to census data. By comparison, non-Hispanic whites (197.5 million) account for 63.3 of the U.S. population, while Hispanics (52 million) and non-Hispanic blacks (38.3 million) account for 16.7 percent and 12.3 percent, respectively.

The influx of Asians reflects "a slowdown in illegal immigration while American employers increase their demand for high-skilled workers," the Associated Press said.

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(Pew)

"The educational credentials of these recent [Asian] arrivals are striking," the report said. Sixty-one percent of 25-to-64-year-old Asian immigrants come with at least a bachelor's degree—more than double non-Asian immigrants, making the recent Asian arrivals "the most highly educated cohort of immigrants in U.S. history."

[Also read: The full Pew report]

The study also found that Asian-Americans are "more satisfied than the general public with their lives, finances and the direction of the country, and they place a greater value on marriage, parenthood, hard work and career success."

Last month, data released by the U.S. Census Bureau showed that there were more minority children born in the United States than whites for the first time in history—signaling what the Washington Post called "the dawn of an era in which whites no longer will be in the majority."

According to the census report, 50.4 percent of children born in a 12-month period that ended July 2011 were Hispanic, black, Asian-American or from other minority groups, while non-Hispanic whites accounted for 49.6 percent of all births in that span. In 2010, minority babies accounted for 49.5 percent of all births.

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