Pew
17
Jan

Pew: Asians outnumber Hispanics among immigrants

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While the discussion over immigration, legal and illegal, devolves further into a cesspool of anti-hispanic rhetoric and tantrums over building a wall on our southern border, a shift in who is coming to the U.S. has been in effect for a few years. A recent Pew Research Center survey shows a long-term trend is continuing: that is, more Asians are migrating to the U.S. than Hispanics.

More than 1 million immigrants arrive in the U.S. each year. In 2016, the top country of origin for new immigrants coming into the U.S. was India, with 126,000 people, followed by Mexico (124,000), China (121,000) and Cuba (41,000).

By race and ethnicity, more Asian immigrants than Hispanic immigrants have arrived in the U.S. each year since 2010. Immigration from Latin America slowed following the Great Recession, particularly from Mexico, which has seen net decreasesin U.S. immigration over the past few years.

Asians are projected to become the largest immigrant group in the U.S. by 2055, surpassing Hispanics. In 2065, Pew Research Center estimates indicate that Asians will make up some 38% of all immigrants; Hispanics, 31%; whites, 20%; and blacks, 9%.

But you don’t hear any anti-Indian or anti-Chinese rhetoric coming out of the President’s mouth or fast little twitter fingers. Not yet, anyway. And while there’s been no polling on it that we can see, it’s a safe bet that most Americans assume that the overwhelming majority of immigrants are coming from Mexico and Central America. There may be several reasons for this. First, the media, just by reporting utterances by the President (and others of his ilk) that the U.S. is being swamped by Hispanics/Latinos on the southern border, without pushing back, reinforces this myth.

And it is a myth. Perhaps it’s an undocumented issue, and far more immigrants from Mexico and Central America are undocumented than from elsewhere. Actually, no. Here, again, from Pew:

The number of apprehensions at the U.S.-Mexico border has sharply decreased over the past decade, from more than 1 million in fiscal 2006 to 408,870 in fiscal 2016. In the first two quarters of fiscal 2017, which started Oct. 1, there have been about 199,000 border patrol apprehensions at the Southwest border, compared with 186,000 for the same period in 2016. Today, more non-Mexicans than Mexicans are apprehended at the border. In fiscal 2016, the apprehensions of Central Americans at the border exceeded that of Mexicans for the second time on record.

Maybe Latino/Hispanic immigrants just have an image problem, made worse by rhetoric by the President (and others of his ilk). Because while nearly two thirds of Americans see immigrants as a boost, rather than a burden to the country, when you break down perceptions of the race of immigrants, the picture is different. From Pew:

Americans also hold more positive views of some immigrant groups than others, according to a 2015 Pew Research Center immigration report. More than four-in-ten Americans expressed mostly positive views of Asian (47%) and European immigrants (44%), yet only a quarter expressed such views of African and Latin American immigrants (26% each). Roughly half of the U.S. public said immigrants are making things better through food, music and the arts (49%), but almost equal shares said immigrants are making crime and the economy worse (50% each).

Interesting to note that Americans view immigration in general far more positively than they view any particular group of immigrants, even the most “popular” immigrant group, Asians. It would be fascinating to dig deeper into these attitudes and where they come from and how they’re reinforced.

There’s much more fascinating immigration data in the Pew report.

31
Jan

Americans view Muslims relatively unfavorably, but don’t want to discriminate

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With a travel ban on predominately Muslim countries – though not those where the President has a financial interest – this would be a good time to revisit what Americans think of Muslims generally.

The latest survey from Pew, conducted in 2014, gives some answers about how America feels generally about this group, which makes up just under one percent of the U.S. population. Pew asked Americans to rate members of eight religious groups on a “feeling thermometer” from 0 to 100, where 0 reflects the coldest, most negative possible rating and 100 the warmest, most positive rating.

Overall, Americans rated Muslims rather coolly – an average of 40, which was comparable to the average rating they gave atheists (41). Americans view the six other religious groups mentioned in the survey (Jews, Catholics, evangelical Christians, Buddhists, Hindus and Mormons) more warmly.

Republicans and those who lean toward the Republican Party gave Muslims an average rating of 33, considerably cooler than Democrats’ rating toward Muslims (47).

Pew’s December 2015 survey about Islamic extremism showed some partisan differences as well.  It showed that Republicans also are likely than Democrats to say they are very concerned about the rise of Islamic extremism in the world (83% vs. 53%) and in the U.S. (65% vs. 38%). That survey also found that Republicans are more likely than Democrats to say that Islam is more likely than other religions to encourage violence among its believers (68% vs. 30% of Democrats) and that Muslims should be subject to more scrutiny than people of other religions (49% vs. 20%).

Overall, 61 percent of those surveyed surveyed Muslims should not be subject to additional scrutiny solely because of their religion, while U.S. adults are closely divided on the question of whether Islam is more likely than other religions to encourage violence.

PF_2016-02-02_views-islam-politics-13

While Americans appear to be wary of Muslims, they also display some conflicting views. For example, in a January, 2016 Pew survey, about half of Americans (49%) think at least “some” U.S. Muslims are anti-American, greater than the share who say “just a few” or “none” are anti-American. But the same survey also found that most Americans (59%) believe there is a lot of discrimination against Muslims in the U.S. today, and even more (76%) say discrimination against Muslims in the U.S. is on the rise.

Nearly half of U.S. adults (47%) say they do not personally know a Muslim, while a similar share (52%) do know at least one person who is Muslim.

22
Jan

U.S. Latino population growth slows, U.S. Asian population soars

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There are some unmistakable trends in the latest Pew Research Center Study, which analyzes U.S. Census Bureau data.

- Asian-American population is now the fastest growing segment of the U.S., overtaking the growth rate of U.S. Latinos.

- U.S. Hispanic population slowed, growing annually on average by only 2.8 percent between 2007 and 2014. In the years between 2000 and 20007, the rate was 4.4 percent.

- The Asian/American population has been growing at a steady 3.4 percent between 2007 and 2014.

- The growth rate of Asian/Americans was driven by increased immigration from Asian countries, especially from South Asia and China.

Pew had some conclusions about why this shift is happening. First is immigration: The Immigration rate from Latin America has slowed substantially compared to the highpoint of Latino immigration in the 1980s and 1990s (though you wouldn’t know that from the heated anti-immigrant political rhetoric). In fact immigration from Mexico has now reversed: there are now more people moving to Mexico from the U.S. than coming north.

Right now main driver of Latino population growth is U.S. births. But even there, a change is afoot. Throughout much of the early 2000s birth rates of Hispanic women ages 15 to 44 were about 95 births per 1,000 women, reaching a peak of 98.3 in 2006. However, since the onset of the Great Recession, their birth rates have declined, steadily falling to 72.1 births per 1,000 Latino/American women ages 15 to 44 in 2014.

Unlike Hispanic population growth, the growth of Asian-Americans is still driven by immigration. Since 2000, more immigrants were coming from Asia than from Latin America.

According to the U.S. Census, the Asian/American proportion of the total U.S. population is is around 6 percent. The largest ethnic groups represented in the census were Chinese (3.79 million), Filipino (3.41 million), Indian (3.18 million), Vietnamese (1.73 million), Korean (1.7 million), and Japanese (1.3 million).