The Best Immigrants

I love to ask people who they think are the highest-earnrning ethnic or immigrant group. They almost always guess Japanese or Chinese…

But those guesses are not even close. It’s the Indians.

Look at this chart of median household income… the average numbers would be even more skewed.

The median U.S. household income is $63,179. So, all of these Asian groups are higher. India’s is off the charts at $110,026. That is 74% higher than the U.S. average, 69% greater than the Koreans, 48% above the Chinese, and 41% more than the Japanese.

I have always attributed this to the greater English influence in the India culture over many decades. More speak English, and more are familiar with English systems and the tradition of rule of law.

I had three Indians in my Harvard Business School class – all highly analytical and great at finance. I also find they have an edge as entrepreneurs over even the Chinese.

They also end up more in the technology, scientific, and technology fields that are the most valued: 28% vs. 18% for the Chinese, 8% Korean, and a mere 5% for the U.S.

70% have bachelor degrees or higher vs. 53% for Koreans, 51% for Chinese, and 28% for the U.S. average.

I have heard no one anywhere in the world complain about Asian immigrants. Australia, where I most often travel to for speaking engagements outside of the U.S., is the largest relative beneficiary of Asian immigration.

But Indians are the best, even though we get more of their top 1% to 10%, as we do with other Asian countries. We are not seeing their average citizens, so we overestimate their cultures.

It’s always strange to me that when I say India will become the next China, most people just look at me like… “what are you smoking?”

I covered that topic in depth in the October edition of my flagship newsletter, The Leading Edge

Follow me on Twitter @Harrydentjr.

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