News / USA

Hindu-Americans Rank Top in Education, Income

A poster displaying the religions of India and the Indian flag hang on the wall at the India Heritage Camp in 2006. A new study shows Hindus are more educated and earn more than any other religion in the U.S.A poster displaying the religions of India and the Indian flag hang on the wall at the India Heritage Camp in 2006. A new study shows Hindus are more educated and earn more than any other religion in the U.S.
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A poster displaying the religions of India and the Indian flag hang on the wall at the India Heritage Camp in 2006. A new study shows Hindus are more educated and earn more than any other religion in the U.S.
A poster displaying the religions of India and the Indian flag hang on the wall at the India Heritage Camp in 2006. A new study shows Hindus are more educated and earn more than any other religion in the U.S.
Hindu-Americans have the highest socioeconomic levels among all religions in the United States, according to a new study by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion and Public Life.

Experts say U.S. immigration policy is the main reason Hindus do so well.

Both the 1965 Immigration Act and the more recent H1-B visa program set the table for Hindus to succeed. The former encouraged the immigration of professionals, particularly doctors and engineers, while the latter was designed to encourage the immigration of highly skilled “guest workers.” 

The number of H1-B visas issued to Indians grew steadily in the late 1990s and early 2000s and then spiked again in 2007. In 2011, according to the study, India accounted for more than half of all the H1-B visas granted.

“The education capital of this group is phenomenal,” said Khyati Joshi, an associate professor at the Fairleigh Dickinson School of Education in Teaneck, New Jersey.

The Pew study, titled “Asian Americans: A Mosaic of Faiths,” bears that out, and the numbers are staggering.

Eighty-five percent of Hindu-Americans are college graduates, and 57 percent have some postgraduate education, which is nearly five times the national average.

Education levels largely correlate to income, and there as well, Hindus rank at the top of the list.

According to the study, 48 percent of Hindu-American households have an income of $100,000 or more, and 70 percent make at least $75,000.

Another, secondary driver for the success of Hindus can be traced back to India’s caste system, according to Prema Kurien, a professor of sociology and the director of  the Asian/Asian American Studies Program at Syracuse University in New York.

“Hindu migrants to the U.S. are largely from upper caste backgrounds,” she said. “Upper castes have had a long history of socioeconomic and educational advantage in India.”

According to Alan Cooperman, the associate director for research for the study, the success of Hindus stems from the type of person that chooses to leave India and who the U.S. admits. This, he said, is quite different from other immigrant groups, where there are often high numbers of refugees or undocumented immigrants.

“This is the first time anybody has had good data on [Hindus],” said Cooperman. “Hindus are a fascinating group.”

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by: G.N. Balakrishnan from: Chennai, India
August 06, 2012 12:11 PM
The major trigger for the upper/ middle class upper caste Indians is the high discount for merit in caste based admission to educational institutions. It is at a discount at every stage thereafter,rtight from entering into a career in Govt/ Govt sponsored establishments. They seek greener pastures else where. What is loss for INDIA is a great gain for America. The sooner, the caste-ridden Govts both in the centre and states realise their flawed policy of Educational Reforms and Employment Policies, the better for them. It is not too late even now. The Govt is at full liberty to promote the interests of the down trodden lower caste groups. Let them first give them proper education atleast upto the secondary school level free of cost and without subsidising every thing, encourage the spirit of every one earning their livelihood. The spirit of Enterprise will unfold miraculously amongst the affected people,


by: BigOil from: Greenland
August 02, 2012 1:11 PM
I like how they quote a anti-Hindu like Prema Kurien. What exactly is an "upper caste". Remember caste is a Portuguese word, not an Indian word. Even in India's affirmative action system/reservations, they use the term forward and backward caste's. The term upper caste is a western invention, how do they determine what Jathi is an upper caste?
This is just flat out false propaganda, it's done to start grooming the general population for future oppression of Hindus in the U.S. (which is coming by the way due to jealousy).


by: samir murlidharan from: USA
August 01, 2012 5:41 PM
Whoever wrote this article, should also mention percentage (or total number) of Hindu-Americans with PhD's living in poverty and below poverty in the US. Show both sides of equation for transparency.

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