Monday, 23 February 2009

Pinoys among top earners in U.S., census data bare

Dennis D. Estopace
Business Mirror

PINOYS in the United States remain among the top earners among foreign-born residents, according to a new analysis of data from the 2007 American Community Survey (ACS).

“Among the foreign-born, those from India, Australia, South Africa and the Philippines have the highest median household incomes,” a statement issued by the ACS on Friday said.

Median household income is $50,740 for the total population, $46,881 for the foreign-born population and $51,249 for the native population.

Indian-born US residents top the list with median household income at $91,195.

US Census Bureau data revealed the median family income of Filipinos is at $81,625 (P3.8 million at $1:P47). Individual per-capita income is set at $34,167 (P1.6 million), higher than the $26,688 US average. The average household size is 3.32 while the average family size is 3.72.

“The foreign-born from Somalia and the Dominican Republic had some of the lowest median household incomes,” the ACS statement said.

The Philippines is also the third-largest group of foreign-born US residents at 1.7 million, following China (1.9 million) and Mexico (more than 11.7 million people).

Most Filipinos are between 35 and 54 years, forming 42.9 percent of their total population in the US. Less than a percent (0.4 percent) are under 5 years old. The US Census Bureau data cited the median age at 46. The bulk of the Filipino population, 1.6 million, are above 15 years old.

Majority of the Philippine-born US residents are women (58.3 percent), majority of whom are categorized as married. Some 159,220 women above 15 years old were said to be never married.

“These new ‘selected population profiles’ highlight the diversity among the many different foreign-born groups in the United States,” Elizabeth Grieco, chief of the Census Bureau’s Immigration Statistics Staff, was quoted in the statement as saying.

“This diversity is due in part to the way the various communities were established, whether it be through labor migration, family reunification or refugee flows.”

Even before World War II, Filipinos have been recorded to have migrated voluntarily or involuntarily to their colonial master’s land. Majority of them populated Hawaii and California. Veterans who fought side-by-side American soldiers were also allowed to enter US borders, currently forming 4.8 percent in the Census Bureau’s data.

The data also reveal majority of the Philippine foreign-born US residents are in the labor force (68.6 percent). Forty-two percent of them are in management, professional and related occupations while less than a percent (0.3 percent) are in farming, fishing and forestry occupations in the US.

Majority (81.5 peercent) are said to be private wage and salary workers, while less than a percent (0.1 percent) are unpaid family workers. Hence, majority of Filipinos (69 percent) can afford to own a house; the rest are renting. The US Census Bureau data revealed that on average, nearly four people occupy an owned housing unit, and nearly three in a renter-occupied unit. Gross rent is $985.

Majority of them live in units built between 1960 and 1979 (26.1 peercent), while only 8 percent live in structures built before the war (1939 or earlier). Majority of Filipinos also spend less than 30 percent of their household income on their mortgage while 46.5 percent said 30 percent or more of their income go into their units.

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