Korean Immigrants Fit in Better Than Other Ethnic Groups in U.S.

      May 15, 2008 09:10

      Korean immigrants have assimilated better than other ethnic groups in the United States for the last 25 years, a study suggests. The Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, a New York-based liberal think tank, published a report measuring immigrant assimilation based on census and other statistics on Tuesday. The institute conducted research on immigrants from 10 countries where large numbers of them originate. Koreans scored 41 out of 100 points on the assimilation index, well above the average 28. The index is a quantified measurement based on the comparison between foreign- and native-born people in economic, cultural, and civic factors, the institute said.

      Korean immigrants ranked fourth with the Vietnamese, behind those from Canada with 53, the Philippines with 49, and Cuba with 43 points. Immigrants from China, India, and Mexico showed relatively slow rate of assimilation, scoring below the average with 21, 16, and 13 points respectively.

      Korean immigrants scored 100 points in the economic assimilation category, but 64 and 55 points in cultural and civic assimilation. Those from Canada, Cuba, and the Philippines also scored 100 points in economic assimilation. In cultural assimilation, which was measured based on ability to speak English, the number of marriages with those born in the U.S., the number of children, and marital status, immigrants from countries geographically close to the U.S. or Anglophone countries, such as Canada, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic unsurprisingly scored higher than Koreans.

      On the other hand, those from other Asian countries like China, India, and Vietnam showed a lower degree of cultural assimilation than Koreans. Korean immigrants are assimilating to the American society fairly quickly, ranking third in civic assimilation after Vietnamese and Filipino immigrants. The authors of the report said civic assimilation is to some extent an "even stronger indicator of immigrants' intentions than cultural assimilation" as "the choice to become a naturalized citizen, or to serve in the United States military, shows a tangible dedication to this country."

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