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Spengler

Stop talking about the Hispanics for a moment — what about Asian-Americans?

November 9th, 2012 - 9:22 am

Apart from some fatuous self-congratulation from Asian-American liberals, there has been very little discussion of the 73-26 Asian-American margin of support for President Obama in last Tuesday’s election. That’s slightly smaller than the highest estimate of Latino support for Obama, at 75-23. Asian-Americans are a small minority now but their numbers are growing rapidly.

Most conservatives consider Asian-Americans poster-children for the American model of self-motivated success. The facts bear this out. The Pew Research Center reported last July:

Asian Americans are the highest-income, best-educated and fastest-growing racial group in the United States. They are more satisfied than the general public with their lives, finances and the direction of the country, and they place more value than other Americans do on marriage, parenthood, hard work and career success…

Asians recently passed Hispanics as the largest group of new immigrants to the United States. The educational credentials of these recent arrivals are striking. More than six-in-ten (61%) adults ages 25 to 64 who have come from Asia in recent years have at least a bachelor’s degree. This is double the share among recent non-Asian arrivals, and almost surely makes the recent Asian arrivals the most highly educated cohort of immigrants in U.S. history.

Compared with the educational attainment of the population in their country of origin, recent Asian immigrants also stand out as a select group. For example, about 27% of adults ages 25 to 64 in South Korea and 25% in Japan have a bachelor’s degree or more.2In contrast, nearly 70% of comparably aged recent immigrants from these two countries have at least a bachelor’s degree.

Asian-American kids occupy nearly three-quarters of the places at New York City’s exam-based high schools (including Bronx Science and Stuyvesant) although they comprise less than 12% of the student population.  The main threat to the upward striving of working-class immigrant kids who study hard to get into top schools is the NAACP. The New York Times reported Oct. 15:

 NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and other groups filed a racial bias complaint with the United States Education Department. They charge that reliance on a single test for determining who gets into Bronx Science and seven other specialized high schools discriminates against young African-Americans and Latinos. Other factors, like student grades, need to be considered as well, they say.

Asians “also stand out for their strong emphasis on family,” the Pew study reported. “More than half (54%) say that having a successful marriage is one of the most important things in life; just 34% of all American adults agree. Two-thirds of Asian-American adults (67%) say that being a good parent is one of the most important things in life; just 50% of all adults agree.”

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