New report--A Portrait of Chinese Americans

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at
Thu Nov 13 18:42:21 UTC 2008

 Forwarded From: Russell W. Rumberger <russ at>
lmresearch at

 UC Linguistic Minority Research Institute

A Portrait of Chinese Americans

By Larry Hajime Shinagawa and Dae Young Kim

Chinese Americans have been in the United States for over 150 years.
As the oldest and largest Asian American community, it has grown
rapidly in size and influence and is comprised of various
sub-ethnicities, languages, immigration histories, and generations.

This report

describes the Chinese American population by providing a textured and
nuanced description of their diversity of experiences, patterns of
concentration, wide and bimodal range of social and economic
conditions, and their relatively modest income returns for their
educational and occupational achievements.


Chinese Americans number at 3,497,484, constituting 1.2 percent of the
entire U.S.

population. Furthermore, Chinese Americans account for one in four
Asian Americans (24.3%), making them the largest ethnic group among
Asian Americans.
Chinese Americans consistently make lower incomes than
non-Hispanic Whites in every level of education (see figure below).
Chinese Americans exhibit a marked bimodal distribution in their level
of education. While Chinese Americans ages 25 and older have twice as
many college degree holders (51.7%) as the general population (27%),
this is offset by a significant presence of more Chinese Americans who
earn less than a high school diploma (18.5%) than the general
population (15.9%).

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