Study: More Houston Asians college-educated than Anglos

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HOUSTON - Asians are much more likely to be college-educated than Anglos, according to a new survey from Rice University's Kinder Institute Houston.

The Kinder Institute Houston Area Asian Survey is the first systematic look at the local Asian population based on three surveys conducted over a 16-year period.  The findings were released by Stephen Klineberg, Kinder Institute co-director and Rice sociologist.

"Houston has become the single most ethnically diverse large metropolitan region in the United States, and the three Houston Area Asian surveys provide a rare look at this rapidly growing population over time," Klineberg said. "Houston's Asian communities will play increasingly important roles in all aspects of our city's life as the 21st century unfolds."

The surveys were conducted in 1995, 2002 and 2011 along with the annual Kinder Institute Houston Area Survey.  They directed questions about demographics, life experiences and societal issues to all of Houston's varied Asian communities. The surveys explored the similarities and differences among the Houston area's four largest Asian communities: Vietnamese, Indian/Pakistani, Chinese/Taiwanese and Filipino.

The surveys found many of Harris County's Asian adults are U.S. born children of immigrant parents.  U.S. born Asians are more likely than Asian immigrants to be college-educated.  Approximately 58 percent of first-generation Asians are college educated compared to 61 percent of the second generation.  In contrast, only 37 percent of Harris County's U.S. born Anglos have college degrees.

Despite levels of education that are much higher on average than those of Anglos, Asians generally have lower household incomes. Thirty-six percent of Anglos report household incomes of more than $75,000,compared with only 28 percent of all Asians.

The 2010 U.S. Census counted 280,341 Asians in Harris County.  That is 6.9 percent of a more than four million population. The Vietnamese are the largest Asian community in Harris County, followed by the Indians, Chinese, Filipinos and Koreans.

Since 1994, the Kinder Institute's Houston Area Survey has been expanded to reach large representative samples from Harris County's Anglo, African-American and Hispanic populations.

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