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Where are South Asians Americans anyway?

March 11, 2009

Check out this fascinating tool on the New York Times website.  As Ennis points out on Sepia Mutiny, it’s based on 2000 census data and the only South Asian group you can target are India-born immigrants to the US.   But those limitations aside, it’s a super-interesting tool to see where the largest concentrations of Indians – and presumably other South Asians? – are in the country.

As I commented over at SM, I’m really interested in the implications of this type of tool for philanthropy – particularly inspiring support for social services for South Asian Americans, the creation of nonprofits by and for us, and coverage by mainstream media about our community efforts.

In the SM comments, “Koschei” notes:

Looking at the census data in depth reveals some rather startling figures. Did you know that there is a massive and I do mean massive socio-economic schism between ethnic Indian residents of American born in India and ethnic Indian residents of America born either in the U.S. or elsewhere? For example, individual per capita income in 2007 inflation adjusted dollars for American residents born in India (that 1501782 figure) is $49,694, significantly above the $26,688 that is the U.S. standard. However, per capita income in 2007 inflation adjusted dollars for all ethnic Indian American residents is $36,491. Here is the kicker though, a little simple arithmetic reveals that the per capita income of ethnic Indians born in the U.S. or born abroad elsewhere other than India is a mere $17,956.

All this has serious implications for giving – what do you all think?  Are there a lot of South Asians in your community?  Does having other South Asians around (or not) influence your giving decisions?  What other factors are key to your charitable decision-making?

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