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Prosperity and poverty found among Indian-Americans

January 2007
Prosperity and poverty found among Indian-Americans

Meanwhile, while Indian-Americans do enjoy high levels of prosperity, there has been rising poverty even among them. The scale is entirely different, of course. With just 4.7 percent of the world's population, the U.S. owns 32.6 percent of the world's wealth, according to the World Institute for Development Economics Research. India, on the other hand, has just 0.9 percent of the world's wealth even though it accounts for 16.8 percent of the world's population. An American family of four is said to be living in poverty if the combined income is less than $20,000 per annum.

The latest American Community Survey by the U.S. Census Bureau points out that the poverty rates stand at 6.1 percent and 8.4 percent, respectively, for Indian-American families and individuals. Nationally, the corresponding rates are 10.2 percent and 13.3 percent. Nonetheless, Indian-Americans still remain one of the most affluent groups in this country. As the U.K.-based Observer magazine puts it, "One-third of the engineers working in Silicon Valley are of Indian origin, and one in every nine Indians in the United States is a millionaire, comprising 10 percent of all America's millionaires." It's an extraordinary figure when one realizes that Indian-Americans form less than 1 percent of the nation's population. While the median income for Indian-American households is $73,575, the national figure is $46,242. There are close to 2.5 million Indian-Americans and slightly over a quarter of them arrived here within the last five years.

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