Indian Americans or Indo-Americans are Americans whose ancestry belongs to any of the many ethnic groups of the Republic of India. The U.S. Census Bureau uses the term Asian Indian to avoid confusion with the indigenous peoples of the Americas commonly referred to as American Indians (or Native Americans or Amerindians).
1.3% of the U.S. population (2017)
|Regions with significant populations|
|Related ethnic groups|
In the Americas, historically, the term "Indian" has been most commonly used to refer to the indigenous people of the continents after European colonization in the 15th century. Qualifying terms such as "American Indian" and "East Indian" were and are commonly used to avoid ambiguity. The U.S. government has since coined the term "Native American" to refer to the indigenous peoples of the United States, but terms such as "American Indian" remain popular among both indigenous and non-indigenous populations. Since the 1980s, Indian Americans have been categorized as "Asian Indian" (within the broader subgroup of Asian American) by the United States Census Bureau.
While "East Indian" remains in use, the term "South Asian" is often chosen instead for academic and governmental purposes. Indian Americans are a subgroup of South Asian Americans, a census group that also includes Bangladeshi Americans, Bhutanese Americans, Nepalese Americans, Pakistani Americans, Burmese Americans, Sri Lankan Americans, etc.
Beginning in the 1600s the East India Company begins bringing indentured Indian servants to American colonies. In 1680, due to anti-miscegenation laws, a mixed-race girl born to an Indian father and an Irish mother is classified as 'mulatto' and sold into slavery.
The first significant wave of Indian immigrants entered the United States in the 19th Century. By 1900, there were more than two thousand Indian Sikhs living in the United States, primarily in California. (At least one scholar has set the level lower, finding a total of 716 Indian immigrants to the U.S. between 1820 and 1900.) Emigration from India was driven by difficulties facing Indian farmers, including the challenges posed by the British land tenure system for small landowners, and by drought and food shortages, which worsened in the 1890s. At the same time, Canadian steamship companies, acting on behalf of Pacific coast employers, recruited Sikh farmers with economic opportunities in British Columbia. Racist attacks in British Columbia, however, prompted Sikhs and new Sikh immigrants to move down the Pacific Coast to Washington and Oregon, where they worked in lumber mills and in the railroad industry. Many Punjabi Sikhs who settled in California, around the Yuba City area, formed close ties with Mexican Americans. The presence of Indian-Americans also helped develop interest in Eastern religions in the US and would result in its influence on American philosophies such as Transcendentalism. Swami Vivekananda arriving in Chicago at the World's Fair led to the establishment of the Vedanta Society.
Between 1907 and 1908, Sikhs moved further south to warmer climates in California, where they were employed by various railroad companies. Some white Americans, resentful of economic competition and the arrival of people from different cultures, responded to Sikh immigration with racism and violent attacks. The Bellingham riots in Bellingham, Washington on September 5, 1907 epitomized the low tolerance in the U.S. for Indians and Sikhs, who were called “hindoos” by locals. While anti-Asian racism was embedded in U.S. politics and culture in the early 20th century, Indians were also racialized for their anticolonialism, with U.S. officials pushing for Western imperial expansion abroad casting them as a "Hindu" menace. Although labeled Hindu, the majority of Indians were Sikh. In the early 20th century, a range of state and federal laws restricted Indian immigration and the rights of Indian immigrants in the U.S. In the 1910s, American nativist organizations campaigned to end immigration from India, culminating in the passage of the Barred Zone Act in 1917. In 1913, the Alien Land Act of California prevented Sikhs (in addition to Japanese and Chinese immigrants) from owning land. However, Asian immigrants got around the system by having Anglo friends or their own U.S. born children legally own the land that they worked on. In some states, anti-miscegenation laws made it illegal for Indian men to marry white women. However, it was acceptable for “brown” races to mix. Many Indian men, especially Punjabi men, married Hispanic women and Punjabi-Mexican marriages became a norm in the West.
Bhicaji Balsara became the first known Indian-born person to gain naturalized U.S. citizenship. As a Parsi, he was considered a 'pure member of the Persian sect' and therefore a free white person. The judge Emile Henry Lacombe, of the Southern District of New York, only gave Balsara citizenship on the hope that the United States attorney would indeed challenge his decision and appeal it to create “an authoritative interpretation” of the law. The U.S. attorney adhered to Lacombe's wishes and took the matter to the Circuit Court of Appeals in 1910. The Circuit Court of Appeal agreed that Parsees belong to the white race and were "as distinct from Hindus as are the English who dwell in India”.  Kumar Mazundarwas also considered “Caucasian” and was eligible for citizenship. Between 1913 and 1923, about 100 Indians were naturalized. Naturalization of Indian immigrants ended in 1923, when the Supreme Court ruled in United States v. Bhagat Singh Thind that Indians were ineligible for citizenship because they were not “free white persons” and their status as “Caucasian” was not enough to be considered “white”. The Court also argued that the racial difference between Indians and whites was so great that the "great body of our people" would reject assimilation with Indians. About 50 Indians’ citizenship was revoked after this ruling, but Dr. Sakharam Ganesh Pandit fought the ruling of denaturalization. He was a lawyer and married to a white American, and he regained his citizenship in 1927. However, no other naturalization was permitted after the ruling, which led to about 3,000 Indians leaving the United States. Many other Indians had no means of returning to India. One such immigrant, Vaisho Das Bagai, committed suicide in despair. “The return migration was large enough to render questionable the idea of immigration as a one-way system.”
After the 1917 immigration act, Indian immigration into the U.S. decreased. Illegal entry through the Mexican border became the way of entering the country for Punjabi immigrants. California’s Imperial Valley had a large population of Punjabis who assisted these immigrants and provided support. Immigrants were able to blend in with this relatively homogenous population. The Gadar Party, an Indian anti-British group with operations in California, facilitated illegal crossing of the Mexican border, using funds from this migration “as a means to bolster the party’s finances”. The Gadar Party charged different prices for entering the US depending on whether Punjabi immigrants were willing to shave off their beard and cut their hair. It is estimated that between 1920 and 1935, about 1,800 to 2,000 Indian immigrants entered the U.S. illegally.
Indians started moving up the social ladder by getting higher education. In 1910, Dhan Gopal Mukerji came to UC Berkeley when he was 20 years old. He was an author of many children’s books and won the Newbery Medal in 1928 for his book Gay-Neck: The Story of a Pigeon. However, he committed suicide at the age of 46 while he was suffering from depression. Another student, Yellapragada Subbarow, came to the U.S. in 1922. He became a biochemist at Harvard, and “he discovered the function of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) as an energy source in cells, and developed methotrexate for the treatment of cancer.” However, being a foreigner, he was refused tenure at Harvard. Gobind Behari Lal, who came to UC Berkeley in 1912, became the science editor of the San Francisco Examiner and was the first Indian-American to win the Pulitzer Prize for journalism.
After WWII, U.S. policy re-opened the door to Indian immigration, although slowly at first. The Luce–Celler Act of 1946 Luce–Celler Act of 1946 permitted a quota of 100 Indians per year to immigrate to the U.S. It also allowed Indian immigrants to naturalize and become citizens of the U.S., effectively reversing the Supreme Court’s 1923 ruling in United States v. Bhagat Singh Thind. The Naturalization Act of 1952, also known as the McCarran-Walter Act, repealed the Barred Zone Act of 1917, but limited immigration from the former Barred Zone to a total of 2,000 per year. In 1910, 95% of all Indian-Americans lived on the western coast of the United States. In 1920, that proportion decreased to 75%; by 1940, it was 65%, as more Indian Americans moved to the east coast. In that year, Indian Americans were registered residents in 43 states. The majority of Indian Americans on the west coast were in rural areas, but on the east coast they became residents of urban areas. In the 1940s, the prices of the land increased, and the Bracero program brought thousands of Mexican guest workers to work on farms, which helped shift second-generation Indian American farmers “into commercial, nonagricultural occupations, from running small shops and grocery stores, to operating taxi services and becoming engineers.” In Stockton and Sacramento, a new group of Indian immigrants from the state of Gujarat opened several small hotels. In 1955, 14 of 21 hotels enterprises in San Francisco were operated by Gujarati Hindus. “By the 1980s Gujaratis had come to dominate the industry.” An article published by National Geographic mentions several stories of Gujarati immigrants in the hospitality industry. The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 dramatically opened entry to the U.S. to immigrants other than traditional Northern European groups, which would significantly alter the demographic mix in the U.S. Not all Indian Americans came directly from India; some came to the U.S. via Indian communities in other countries, including the United Kingdom, Canada, (South Africa, the former British colonies of East Africa, (namely Kenya, Tanzania), and Uganda, Mauritius), the Asia-Pacific region (Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, Fiji), and the Caribbean (Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Suriname, and Jamaica). From 1965 until the mid-1990s, long-term immigration from Indian averaged about 40,000 people per year. From 1995 onward, the flow of Indian immigration increased significantly, reaching a high of about 90,000 immigrants in the year 2000.
According to the 2010 United States Census, the Asian Indian population in the United States grew from almost 1,678,765 in 2000 (0.6% of U.S. population) to 2,843,391 in 2010 (0.9% of U.S. population), a growth rate of 69.37%, one of the fastest growing ethnic groups in the United States.
The New York-Newark-Bridgeport, NY-NJ-CT-PA Combined Statistical Area, consisting of New York City, Long Island, and adjacent areas within New York, as well as nearby areas within the states of New Jersey (extending to Trenton), Connecticut (extending to Bridgeport), and including Pike County, Pennsylvania, was home to an estimated 711,174 uniracial Indian Americans as of the 2017 American Community Survey by the U.S. Census Bureau, comprising by far the largest Indian American population of any metropolitan area in the United States; New York City itself also contains by far the highest Indian American population of any individual city in North America, estimated at 246,454 as of 2017. Monroe Township, Middlesex County, in central New Jersey, the geographic heart of the Northeast megalopolis, has displayed one of the fastest growth rates of its Indian population in the Western Hemisphere, increasing from 256 (0.9%) as of the 2000 Census to an estimated 5,943 (13.6%) as of 2017, representing a 2,221.5% (a multiple of 23) numerical increase over that period, including many affluent professionals and senior citizens. In 2014, 12,350 Indians legally immigrated to the New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA core based statistical area; As of January 2019, Indian airline carrier Air India as well as United States airline carrier United Airlines were offering direct flights from the New York City Metropolitan Area to and from Delhi, Mumbai, and (Air India) Ahmedabad. In May 2019, Delta Air Lines announced non-stop flight service between New York JFK and Mumbai, to begin on December 22, 2019. At least twenty Indian American enclaves characterized as a Little India have emerged in the New York City Metropolitan Area.
Other metropolitan areas with large Indian American populations include Atlanta, Baltimore–Washington, Boston, Chicago, Dallas–Ft. Worth, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and San Francisco–San Jose–Oakland.
The three oldest Indian-American communities going back to around 1910 are in lesser populated agricultural areas like Stockton, California south of Sacramento; the Central Valley of California like Yuba City; and Imperial County, California aka Imperial Valley. These were all primarily Sikh settlements.
|Metropolitan Statistical Area||Indian American
|Total population (2010)||% of Total
|Combined Statistical Area|
|New York–Newark–Jersey City, NY–NJ–PA||526,133||18,897,109||2.8%||New York-Newark, NY-NJ-CT-PA|
|Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI||171,901||9,461,105||1.8%||Chicago-Naperville, IL-IN-WI|
|Washington–Arlington–Alexandria, DC–VA–MD–WV||127,963||5,582,170||2.3%||Washington-Baltimore-Arlington, DC-MD-VA-WV-PA|
|Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA||119,901||12,828,837||0.9%||Los Angeles-Long Beach, CA|
|San Francisco–Oakland–Hayward, CA||119,854||4,335,391||2.8%||San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland, CA|
|San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA||117,711||1,836,911||6.4%||San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland, CA|
|Dallas–Fort Worth–Arlington, TX||100,386||6,371,773||1.6%||Dallas-Fort Worth, TX-OK|
|Houston–The Woodlands–Sugar Land, TX||91,637||5,946,800||1.5%||Houston-The Woodlands, TX|
|Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD||90,286||5,965,343||1.5%||Philadelphia-Reading-Camden, PA-NJ-DE-MD|
|Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA||78,980||5,268,860||1.5%||Atlanta–Athens-Clarke County–Sandy Springs, GA|
|Boston–Cambridge–Newton, MA-NH||62,598||4,552,402||1.4%||Boston–Worcester–Providence, MA-RI-NH-CT|
|Detroit–Warren–Livonia, MI||55,087||4,296,250||1.3%||Detroit-Warren-Ann Arbor, MI|
|Seattle–Tacoma–Bellevue, WA||52,652||3,439,809||1.5%||Seattle-Tacoma, WA|
|Miami–Fort Lauderdale–West Palm Beach, FL||41,334||5,564,635||0.7%||Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Port St. Lucie, FL|
|Baltimore–Columbia–Towson, MD||32,193||2,710,489||1.2%||Washington-Baltimore-Arlington, DC-MD-VA-WV-PA|
|Minneapolis-St. Paul–Bloomington, MN-WI||29,453||3,279,833||0.9%||Minneapolis-St. Paul MN-WI|
|Orlando–Kissimmee–Sanford, FL||26,105||2,134,411||1.2%||Orlando–Deltona–Daytona Beach, FL|
|San Diego-Carlsbad, CA||24,306||3,095,313||0.8%|||
|Riverside–San Bernardino–Ontario, CA||23,587||4,224,851||0.6%||Los Angeles-Long Beach, CA|
|Tampa–St. Petersburg–Clearwater, FL||23,526||2,783,243||0.8%|
|Austin-Round Rock, TX||23,503||1,716,289||1.4%|
|Raleigh, NC||20,192||1,130,490||1.8%||Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, NC|
|Columbus, OH||19,529||1,836,536||1.1%||Columbus–Marion–Zanesville, OH|
|Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT||18,764||1,212,381||1.5%||Hartford-West Hartford, CT|
|St. Louis, MO–IL||16,874||2,812,896||0.6%||St. Louis–St. Charles–Farmington, MO–IL|
|Fresno, CA||15,469||930,450||1.7%||Fresno–Madera, CA|
|Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT||15,439||916,829||1.7%||New York–Newark, NY-NJ-CT-PA|
|Trenton, NJ||15,352||366,513||4.2%||New York-Newark, NY-NJ-CT-PA|
|Portland–Vancouver–Hillsboro, OR-WA||15,117||2,226,009||0.7%||Portland–Vancouver–Salem, OR-WA|
|Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN||14,696||2,130,151||0.7%||Cincinnati-Wilmington-Maysville, OH-KY-IN|
|Pittsburgh, PA||14,568||2,356,285||0.6%||Pittsburgh-New Castle-Weirton, PA-OH-WV|
|Cleveland–Elyria, OH||14,215||2,077,240||0.7%||Cleveland-Akron-Canton, OH|
|Stockton, CA||12,951||685,306||1.9%||San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland, CA|
|Denver–Aurora–Lakewood, CO||13,649||2,543,482||0.5%||Denver–Aurora, CO|
|Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, IN||12,669||1,756,241||0.7%||Indianapolis-Carmel-Muncie, IN|
|Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI||11,945||1,555,908||0.8%||Milwaukee-Racine-Waukesha, CI|
|Kansas City, MO-KS||11,646||2,035,334||0.6%||Kansas City-Overland Park-Kansas City, MO-KS|
|Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, AR-MO||3,534||422,610||0.9%||Fayetteville–Springdale–Rogers Metropolitan Area|
While the table above provides a picture of the population of Indian American (alone) and Asian Americans (alone) in some of the metropolitan areas of the US, it is incomplete as it does not include multi-racial Asian Americans. Please note that data for multi-racial Asian Americans has not yet been released by the US Census Bureau.
|State||Asian Indian population
|% of state's population
|Asian Indian population
|Total Asian-Indian population in US||2,843,391||0.92%||1,678,765||69.4%|
In 2006, of the 1,266,264 legal immigrants to the United States, 58,072 were from India. Between 2000 and 2006, 421,006 Indian immigrants were admitted to the U.S., up from 352,278 during the 1990–1999 period. According to the 2000 U.S. census, the overall growth rate for Indians from 1990 to 2000 was 105.87 percent. The average growth rate for the U.S. was 7.6 percent. Indians comprise 16.4 percent of the Asian-American community. In 2000, the Indian-born population in the U.S. was 1.007 million. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, between 1990 and 2000, the Indian population in the U.S. grew 130% – 10 times the national average of 13%. Indian Americans are the third largest Asian American ethnic group, following Chinese Americans and Filipino Americans.
A joint Duke University – UC Berkeley study revealed that Indian immigrants have founded more engineering and technology companies from 1995 to 2005 than immigrants from the UK, China, Taiwan and Japan combined. The percentage of Silicon Valley startups founded by Indian immigrants has increased from 7% in 1999 to 15.5% in 2006, as reported in the 1999 study by AnnaLee Saxenian  and her updated work in 2006 in collaboration with Vivek Wadhawa. Indian Americans are making their way to the top positions of almost every big technology company (Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Cisco, Oracle, Adobe, Softbank, Cognizant, Sun microsystems, etc.) Many of them came from very humble origins, for example the current google CEO "Sundar Pichai did not have the privilege of watching television or travelling by car during his childhood. Born and raised in a middle class household, Mr. Pichai used to sleep with his brother in the living room of their two-room apartment that barely had any technology. Despite facing these hardships of everyday life in India, Pichai had a gleam in his eyes of sheer ambition and relentless pursuit."
A recent study shows that 23% of Indian business school graduates take a job in United States.
Indian Americans continuously outpace every other ethnic group socioeconomically per U.S. Census statistics. Thomas Friedman, in his 2005 book The World Is Flat, explains this trend in terms of brain drain, whereby the best and brightest elements in India emigrate to the US in order to seek better financial opportunities. Indians form the second largest group of physicians after non-Hispanic whites (3.9%) as of the 1990 survey, and the percentage of Indian physicians rose to around 6% in 2005.
According to Pew Research in 2015, of Indian Americans aged 25 and older, 32% had obtained a bachelor's degree and 40% had obtained a postgraduate degree, whereas of all Americans, 19% had obtained a bachelor's degree and 11% had obtained a postgraduate degree.
The median household income for Indian immigrants in 2015 was much higher than that of the overall foreign- and native-born populations. Households headed by Indian immigrants had a median income of $101,591, compared to $51,000 and $56,000 for overall immigrant and native-born households, respectively. By far they are the richest and most successful ethnic group in the USA due to their strong work-ethic and focus on education, as well as many other factors, such as the relatively low wages for highly skilled workers in India, creating an incentive for highly skilled Indians to immigrate, while poorer Indians can neither afford to immigrate, nor live in the United States.
Approximately 7 percent of Indian immigrants lived in poverty in 2015, a much lower rate than the foreign-born population overall and the U.S. born (17 percent and 14 percent, respectively).
Hindi radio stations are available in areas with high Indian populations, for example, Easy96.com in the New York City metropolitan area, KLOK 1170 AM in San Francisco, RBC Radio; Radio Humsafar, Desi Junction in Chicago; Radio Salaam Namaste and FunAsia Radio in Dallas; and Masala Radio, FunAsia Radio, Sangeet Radio, Radio Naya Andaz in Houston and Washington Bangla Radio on Internet from the Washington DC Metro Area. There are also some radio stations broadcasting in Tamil and Telugu within these communities. Houston-based Kannada Kaaranji radio focuses on a multitude of programs for children and adults.
AVS (Asian Variety Show) and Namaste America are nationally available South Asian programming available free to air and can be watched with a television antenna.
Several cable and satellite television providers offer Indian channels: Sony TV, Zee TV, TV Asia, Star Plus, Sahara One, Colors, Big Magic, regional channels, and others have offered Indian content for subscription, such as the Cricket World Cup. There is also an American cricket channel called Willow.
In 2012, the film Not a Feather, but a Dot directed by Teju Prasad, was released which investigates the history, perceptions and changes in the Indian-American community over the last century.
Communities of Hindus, Christians, Muslims, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Parsis, and Indian Jews have established their religions in the United States. According to 2012 Pew Research Center research, 51% consider themselves Hindu, 18% as Christian (Protestant 11%, Catholic 5%, other Christian 3%), 10% as unaffiliated, 10% as Muslims, 5% as Sikh, 2% as Jain. The first religious center of an Indian religion to be established in the US was a Sikh Gurudwara in Stockton, California in 1912. Today there are many Sikh Gurudwaras, Hindu temples, Christian churches, and Buddhist and Jain temples in all 50 states.
Some have claimed that as of 2008, the American Hindu population was around 2.2 million, but this estimation is based on the flawed assumption that percentage of Hindus among Indian Americans is the same as in India. Regardless, Hindus are the majority of Indian Americans. Many organizations such as ISKCON, Swaminarayan Sampraday, BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, Chinmaya Mission, and Swadhyay Pariwar are well-established in the U.S. Hindu Americans have formed the Hindu American Foundation which represents American Hindus and aim to educate people about Hinduism. Swami Vivekananda brought Hinduism to the West at the 1893 Parliament of the World's Religions. The Vedanta Society has been important in subsequent Parliaments. Today, many Hindu temples, most of them built by Indian Americans, have emerged in different cities and towns in the United States. More than 18 million Americans are now practicing some form of Yoga. Kriya Yoga was introduced to America by Paramahansa Yogananda. A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada initiated the popular ISKCON, also known as the Hare Krishna movement, while preaching Bhakti yoga.
There are nearly 30 million Sikhs around the world today, and a vast majority of them live in the Indian state of Punjab. There is also a robust and flourishing diaspora, with communities large and small all over the globe. Much of the diaspora is concentrated in the commonwealth due to migration within the British empire, yet Sikhs continue to establish themselves in various countries throughout the world.
From the time of their arrival in the late 1800s, Sikh men and women have been making notable contributions to American society. In 2007, there were estimated to be between 250,000 and 500,000 Sikhs living in the United States, with largest populations living on the East and West Coasts, together with additional populations in Detroit, Chicago, and Austin. The United States also has a number of non-Punjabi converts to Sikhism. Sikh men are typically identifiable by their unshorn beards and turbans (head coverings), articles of their faith. Many organisations like World Sikh Organisation (WSO), Sikh Riders of America, SikhNet, Sikh Coalition, SALDEF, United Sikhs, National Sikh Campaign continue to educate people about Sikhism. There are many "Gurudwaras" Sikh temples present in all states of USA.
Adherents of Jainism first arrived in the United States in the 20th century. The most significant time of Jain immigration was in the early 1970s. The US has since become a center of the Jain diaspora. The Federation of Jain Associations in North America is an umbrella organization of local American and Canadian Jain congregations. Unlike India and United Kingdom, the Jain community in United States doesn't find sectarian differences, Both Digambara and Śvētāmbara a share common roof.
There are many Indian Christian churches across the US; Church of South India, Church of North India, Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, Syro-Malankara Catholic Church, Christhava Tamil Koil, Knanaya, Indian Orthodox Church, Mar Thoma Church (reformed orthodox), Malankara Syriac Orthodox Church, The Pentecostal Mission, Assemblies Of God, Church of God, Sharon Pentecostal Church, Independent Non Denominational Churches like Heavenly Feast, Plymouth Brethren, and the India Pentecostal Church of God. Saint Thomas Christians from Kerala have established their own places of worship across the United States. The website USIndian.org has collected a comprehensive list of all the traditional St. Thomas Christian Churches in the US. There are also Catholic Indians hailing originally from Goa, Karnataka, and/or Kerala, who attend the same services as other American Catholics, but may celebrate the feast of Saint Francis Xavier as a special event of their identity. The Indian Christian Americans have formed the Federation of Indian American Christian Organizations of North America (FIACONA) to represent a network of Indian Christian organizations in the US. FIACONA estimates the Indian American Christian population to be 1,050,000.
The large Parsi community is represented by the Federation of Zoroastrian Associations of North America. Indian Jews are perhaps the smallest organized religious group among Indian Americans, consisting of approximately 350 members in the US. They form the Indian Jewish Congregation of USA, with their headquarters in New York City.Indian Muslim Americans generally congregate with other American Muslims, including those from Pakistan and Bangladesh, but there are prominent organizations such as the Indian Muslim Council - USA.
Like the terms "Asian American" or "South Asian American", the term "Indian American" is also an umbrella label applying to a variety of views, values, lifestyles, and appearances. Although Asian-Indian Americans retain a high ethnic identity, they are known to assimilate into American culture while at the same time keeping the culture of their ancestors.
The United States is home to various associations that promote Indian languages and cultures. Some major organizations include Telugu Association of North America (TANA), American Telugu Association (ATA), Federation of Tamil Sangams of North America, Federation of Kerala Associations in North America, Association of Kannada Kootas of America (AKKA), North American Bengali Conference, Orissa Society of the Americas, and Maharashtra Mandal.
According to the official U.S. racial categories employed by the United States Census Bureau, Office of Management and Budget and other U.S. government agencies, American citizens or resident aliens who marked "Asian Indian" as their ancestry or wrote in a term that was automatically classified as an Asian Indian became classified as part of the Asian race at the 2000 US Census. As with other modern official U.S. government racial categories, the term "Asian" is in itself a broad and heterogeneous classification, encompassing all peoples with origins in the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, and the Indian subcontinent.
In previous decades, Indian Americans were also variously classified as White American, the "Hindu race", and "other". Even today, where individual Indian Americans do not racially self-identify, and instead report Muslim, Jewish, and Zoroastrian as their "race" in the "some other race" section without noting their country of origin, they are automatically tallied as white. This may result in the counting of persons such as Indian Muslims, Indian Jews, and Indian Zoroastrians as white, if they solely report their religious heritage without their national origin.
Unlike many countries, India does not allow dual citizenship. Consequently, many Indian citizens residing in U.S., who do not want to lose their Indian nationality, do not apply for American citizenship (ex. Raghuram Rajan).
In the 1980s, a gang known as the Dotbusters specifically targeted Indian Americans in Jersey City, New Jersey with violence and harassment. Studies of racial discrimination, as well as stereotyping and scapegoating of Indian Americans have been conducted in recent years. In particular, racial discrimination against Indian Americans in the workplace has been correlated with Indophobia due to the rise in outsourcing/offshoring, whereby Indian Americans are blamed for US companies offshoring white-collar labor to India. According to the offices of the Congressional Caucus on India, many Indian Americans are severely concerned of a backlash, though nothing serious has taken place. Due to various socio-cultural reasons, implicit racial discrimination against Indian Americans largely go unreported by the Indian American community.
Since the September 11, 2001 attacks, there have been scattered incidents of Indian Americans becoming mistaken targets for hate crimes. In one example, a Sikh, Balbir Singh Sodhi, was murdered at a Phoenix gas station by a white supremacist. This happened after September 11, and the murderer claimed that his turban made him think that the victim was a Middle Eastern American. In another example, a pizza deliverer was mugged and beaten in Massachusetts for "being Muslim" though the victim pleaded with the assailants that he was in fact a Hindu. In December 2012, an Indian American in New York City was pushed from behind onto the tracks at the 40th Street-Lowery Street station in Sunnyside and killed. The police arrested a woman, Erika Menendez, who admitted to the act and justified it, stating that she shoved him onto the tracks because she believed he was "a Hindu or a Muslim" and she wanted to retaliate for the attacks of September 11, 2001.
In 2004, New York Senator Hillary Clinton joked at a fundraising event with South Asians for Nancy Farmer that Mahatma Gandhi owned a gas station in downtown St. Louis, fueling the stereotype that gas stations are owned by Indians and other South Asians. She clarified in the speech later that she was just joking, but still received some criticism for the statement later on for which she apologized again.
On April 5, 2006, the Hindu Mandir of Minnesota was vandalized allegedly on the basis of religious discrimination. The vandals damaged temple property leading to $200,000 worth of damage.
On August 11, 2006, Senator George Allen allegedly referred to an opponent's political staffer of Indian ancestry as "macaca" and commenting, "Welcome to America, to the real world of Virginia". Some members of the Indian American community saw Allen's comments, and the backlash that may have contributed to Allen losing his re-election bid, as demonstrative of the power of YouTube in the 21st century.
In 2006, then Delaware Senator and former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden was caught on microphone saying: "In Delaware, the largest growth in population is Indian-Americans moving from India. You cannot go to a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin' Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. I'm not joking."
On August 5, 2012, white supremacist Wade Michael Page shot eight people and killed six at a Sikh gurdwara in Oak Creek, Wisconsin.
On February 22, 2017, recent immigrants Srinivas Kuchibhotla and Alok Madasani were shot at a bar in Olathe, Kansas by Adam Purinton, a white American who mistook them for persons of Middle Eastern descent, yelling "get out of my country" and "terrorist". Kuchibhotla died instantly while Madasani was injured, but later recovered.
On December 22, 2018, rapper Famous Dex uploaded a video post to his Instagram page in which he made racially-charged jokes at the expense of an elderly Indian American Hindu cashier at a convenience store in Los Angeles he was frequenting with a friend. During the video, he remarks “Witcho’ lil’... ,” referring to the man’s tilaka on his forehead, following a brief exchange about the packaging of the Backwoods Smokes box Famous Dex was purchasing. He then stops and rhetorically adds “That’s a mark of Buddha in between yo’ face?,” laughing along with his friend. This is in reference to the 2001 stoner film How High, in which Chuck Deezy’s character Ivory opined that the pubic patch between his eyebrows was the ‘mark of Buddha.’
In 2009, the Department of Homeland Security estimated that there were one hundred thousand (100,000) Indian unauthorized immigrants; they are the sixth largest nationality (tied with Koreans) of illegal immigrants behind Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and the Philippines. Indian Americans have had an increase in illegal immigration of 25% since 2000. In 2014, Pew Research Center estimated that there are 150 thousand undocumented Indians in the United States.
Indians are among the largest ethnic groups legally immigrating to the United States. The immigration of Indians has taken place in several waves since the first Indian came to the United States in the 1700s. A major wave of immigration to California from the region of Punjab took place in the first decade of the 20th century. Another significant wave followed in the 1950s which mainly included students and professionals. The elimination of immigration quotas in 1965 spurred successively larger waves of immigrants in the late 1970s and early 1980s. With the technology boom of the 1990s, the largest influx of Indians arrived between 1995 and 2000. This latter group has also caused surge in the application for various immigration benefits including applications for green card. This has resulted in long waiting periods for people born in India from receiving these benefits.
In December, 2015, over 30 Indian students seeking admission in two US universities—Silicon Valley University and the Northwestern Polytechnic University—were denied entry by Customs and Border Protection and were deported to India. Conflicting reports suggested that the students were deported because of the controversies surrounding the above-mentioned two universities. However, another report suggested that the students were deported as they had provided conflicting information at the time of their arrival in US to what was mentioned in their visa application. "According to the US Government, the deported persons had presented information to the border patrol agent which was inconsistent with their visa status," read an advisory published by Ministry of External Affairs (India) which was published in the Hindustan Times.
Following the incident, the Indian government asked the US government to honour the visas given by its embassies and consulates. In response, the United States embassy advised the students considering studying in the US to seek assistance from Education USA.
Several groups have tried to create a voice for the community in political affairs, including the United States India Political Action Committee and the Indian-American Leadership Initiative, as well as panethnic groups such as South Asian Americans Leading Together and Desis Rising Up and Moving. Additionally, there are industry groups such as the Asian American Hotel Owners Association and the Association of American Physicians of Indian Origin.
A majority tend to identify as moderates and have voted for Democrats in recent elections. Polls before the 2004 presidential election showed Indian Americans favoring Democratic candidate John Kerry over Republican George W. Bush by a 53% to 14% margin, with 30% undecided at the time. The Republican party has tried to target this community for political support, and in 2007, Republican Congressman Bobby Jindal became the first United States Governor of Indian descent when he was elected Governor of Louisiana. Nikki Haley, also of Indian descent and a fellow Republican, became Governor of South Carolina in 2010. Republican Neel Kashkari is also of Indian descent and ran for Governor of California in 2014. Raja Krishnamoorthi who is a lawyer, engineer and community leader from Schaumburg, Illinois is seeking the Democratic nomination in Illinois's 8th congressional district for the United States House of Representatives. Jenifer Rajkumar is a Lower Manhattan district leader and candidate for the New York State Assembly. If elected, she will be the first Indian American woman elected to the state legislature in New York history. In 2016, Kamala Harris (the daughter of a Tamil Indian American mother, Dr. Shyamala Gopalan Harris, and a Jamaican American father, Donald Harris) became the first Indian-American and second African American female to serve in the United States Senate. The Indian American community have been significant in promoting the US-India relations. The Indian American lobbying groups have played a significant role in turning the frosty attitude of the American legislators to a positive perception about India in the post-Cold War era.
Indians in North America, nearly 90 percent of whom where Sikhs from the state of Punjab, were also racialized through colonial gendered discourses. During the early decades of the twentieth century, US Immigration, Justice, and State Department officials cast Indian anticolonialists as a "Hindoo" menace
The 58th Scripps National Spelling Bee was held in Washington, D.C. at the Capital Hilton on June 5–6, 1985, sponsored by the E.W. Scripps Company.
The winner was 13-year-old eighth-grader Balu Natarajan of Bolingbrook, Illinois, in his third appearance at the Bee (he finished 45th in 1983 and 63rd in 1984), the first winner from the Chicago area. He spelled "milieu" for the win. Second place went to 13-year-old Kate Lingley of Dover-Foxcroft, Maine, who missed "farrago". Another 13-year-old, Tanya Solomon of Kansas City, Missouri, took third, missing "syllepsis".168 spellers competed in the Bee, 17 more than competed the previous year. There were 67 boys and 101 girls, including 19 repeat contestants, one 9-year-old, two 10-year-olds, 19 at age 11, 26 at age 12, 65 at age 13, and 55 at age 14. A total of 719 words were used.Natarajan was the first Indian-American to win the Bee, and has been credited for inspiring the later dominance of Indian-Americans in the bee.In addition to non-cash gifts, the first-place winner received $1,000. Total prize money to all finalists was $10,500.African Americans in Alabama
African Americans in Alabama are residents of the state of Alabama who are of African American ancestry. As of the 2010 U.S. Census, African Americans were 26.5% of the state's population.African Americans in Florida
African Americans in Florida are residents of the state of Florida who are of African ancestry. As of the 2010 U.S. Census, African Americans were 16.6% of the state's population. The African-American presence in the peninsula extends as far back as the early 18th century, when African-American slaves escaped from slavery in Georgia into the swamps of the peninsula.African Americans in Georgia (U.S. state)
African-American Georgians are residents of the U.S. state of Georgia who are of African American ancestry. As of the 2010 U.S. Census, African Americans were 31.2% of the state's population.African Americans in Mississippi
African Americans in Mississippi are residents of the state of Mississippi who are of African-American ancestry. As of the 2010 U.S. Census, African Americans were 37.4% of the state's population.African Americans in North Carolina
African-American North Carolinians are residents of the state of North Carolina who are of African ancestry. As of the 2010 U.S. Census, African Americans were 22% of the state's population.Asian Americans in California
Asian Californians are residents of the state of California who are of Asian ancestry. California has the largest Asian American population in the U.S., and second highest proportion of Asian American residents, after Hawaii. As of the 2010 U.S. Census, Asian-Americans were 13.6% of the state's population. The largest Asian American ethnic subgroups in California are Filipino Americans, Chinese Americans, Vietnamese Americans, and Indian Americans. Asian Americans in California are concentrated in the San Francisco and Los Angeles metropolitan areas.Bengali Americans
Bengali Americans (Bengali: মার্কিন বাঙ্গালী) are Americans of Bengali ethnic, cultural and linguistic heritage and identity. They trace their ancestry to the historic ethno-linguistic region of Bengal in South Asia (now divided between Bangladesh and India). Bengali American usually refers to Bengali Muslims, Bengali Hindus, Bengali Buddhists, Bengali Jains, and Bengali Christians. Bengali American are also a subgroup of Bangladeshi Americans and Indian Americans. Bengali Muslims are also classified under Bangladeshi Americans, or American Muslim.
United States has the largest population of Bengali Hindus outside of Asia and second-largest population of Bengali people outside of Asia after the United Kingdom. The highest concentration of Bengali Americans is in New York City Metropolitan Area, with California, New Jersey, Texas, Michigan, Virginia, and Florida being other states with high concentration of Bengali Americans in that particular order. Almost half of the Bengali Hindus in the US are in California. California as a subnational division has the largest concentration of Bengali Hindus outside of Asia. New York City has the largest metropolitan Bengali population outside of India, Bangladesh, and England. Significant immigration of Bengalis to the United States started after 1965.
Bengali Americans may refer to-
Bangladeshi Americans, Americans of Bangladeshi descent of Bengali Hindu ancestry, and Bengali Muslims. Bengali Muslims are usually classified as Bangladeshi Americans and American Muslims.
Bengali Indian Americans, Americans of Indian and Bengali Hindu descent whose ancestral origins are in West Bengal, Bangladesh or erstwhile East Bengal, Jharkhand, Purnia, Odisha, Goalpara region, Assam, the Barak Valley, Tripura, Nepal, Meghalaya, Rakhine state, and other parts of India who are known as Probashi Bengalis. Bengali Hindu Americans also come from Southeast Asia, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, South America, Caribbean, and other parts of the world.Dutch West Indian Americans
Dutch West Indian Americans or Dutch Antillean Americans are Americans of Dutch Antillean descent. According to the 2010 Census Bureau figures there 54,377 Americans under the category of "Dutch West Indian".
In the 2000 US Census, the number of Americans reported whose origins are in the Dutch West Indian was of 35,359. In this Census (and to difference of the 2010 US Census whose Dutch West Indian ethnics were not mentioned of individual way) a total of 1,970 people affirmed just be of Aruban descent, while only 352 people claimed descent from people of St. Maarten.East India (disambiguation)
East India is a region of India consisting of the states of West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, and Orissa.
East India may also refer to:
East Indies, a term used by Europeans from the 16th century onwards to identify what is now known as South Asia and Southeastern Asia
East India Company, an English joint-stock company founded in 1600
East India Docks, a small group of docks in the Blackwall area of East London
East India DLR station, a railway station in East LondonEast Indian may also refer to:
East Indians, a Marathi-speaking, Roman Catholic ethnic group in Mumbai
East Indian language is the dialect of Marathi, spoken by East Indians people in Mumbai
East Indians, a term used in North America to refer to Asian Indians, in order to distinguish them from Native Americans who are sometimes referred to as Indians
Indian Americans, residents of the United States descended from migrants from the Indian subcontinent
Indo-Canadians, residents of Canada descended from migrants from the Indian subcontinent
Indo-Caribbeans, residents of Caribbean countries descended from migrants from the Indian subcontinentGujarati Americans
Gujarati Americans are Americans who trace their ancestry to Gujarat, India. They are a subgroup of Indian Americans.
The highest concentration of the Gujarati American population by a significant margin, with over 100,000 Gujarati individuals, is in the New York City Metropolitan Area, notably in the growing Gujarati diasporic center of India Square, or Little Gujarat, in Jersey City, New Jersey, and Edison in Middlesex County in Central New Jersey. Significant immigration from India to the United States started after the landmark Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, Early immigrants after 1965 were highly educated professionals. Since US immigration laws allow sponsoring immigration of parents, children and particularly siblings on the basis of family reunion, the numbers rapidly swelled in a phenomenon known as "chain migration". Given the Gujarati propensity for entrepreneurship and business enterprise, a number of them opened shops and motels. Now in the 21st century over 40% of the hospitality industry in the United States is controlled by Gujaratis. Gujaratis, especially the Patidar samaj, also dominate as franchisees of fast food restaurant chains such as Subway and Dunkin' Donuts. The descendants of the Gujarati immigrant generation have also made high levels of advancement into professional fields, including as physicians, engineers and politicians. In August 2016, Air India commenced direct, one-seat flight service between Ahmedabad and Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey, via London Heathrow International Airport.Famous Gujarati Americans include Ami Bera (United States Congress), Reshma Saujani (American politician), Sonal Shah (economist to Whitehouse), Rohit Vyas (Indian American journalist),
Bharat Desai (CEO Syntel), Vyomesh Joshi (Forbes), Raj Bhavsar (sports) Halim Dhanidina (first Muslim judge of California), Savan Kotecha (Grammy nominated American songwriter), Mafat and Tulsi Patel (Patel Brothers founders), and Hollywood actresses, Sheetal Sheth and Noureen DeWulf.History of the Indian Americans in Metro Detroit
A 2013 report by the Global Detroit and Data Driven Detroit stated that of the immigrant ethnic groups to Metro Detroit, the largest segment is the Indian population. As of 2012, the Indian populations of Farmington Hills and Troy are among the twenty largest Indian communities in the United States. As of the 2000 U.S. Census there were 39,527 people with origins from post-partition India (Indians and Indian Americans) in Metro Detroit, making them the largest Asian ethnic group in the Wayne County-Macomb County-Oakland County tri-county area, next to Middle Easterners People of those origins are found throughout Metro Detroit, with the majority being in Oakland County.Indians in the New York City metropolitan region
Indians in the New York City metropolitan region constitute one of the largest and fastest growing ethnicities in the New York City metropolitan area of the United States. The New York City region is home to the largest Indian American population among metropolitan areas by a significant margin, enumerating 711,174 uniracial individuals by the 2013-2017 U.S. Census American Community Survey estimates. The Asian Indian population also represents the second-largest metropolitan Asian national diaspora both outside of Asia and within the New York City metropolitan area, following the also rapidly growing and hemisphere-leading population of the estimated 893,697 uniracial Chinese in the New York City metropolitan area in 2017.
The U.S. state of New Jersey, most of whose population is situated within the New York City metropolitan region, has by a significant margin the highest proportional Indian population concentration of any U.S. state, with a Census-estimated 4.1% of New Jersey's population being an individual of Indian origin in 2017.List of Indian Americans
Indian Americans refer to the people who are descendants of Indians settled in America and the legal immigrants who have moved to the United States of America. This article is a list of notable Indian Americans. Note that unlike many countries, India does not allow dual citizenship.To be included in this list, the person must have a Wikipedia article showing they are Indian American or must have references showing they are Indian American and are notable.Luce–Celler Act of 1946
The Luce–Celler Act of 1946 (H. R. 3517; Public Law 483) was proposed by Republican Clare Boothe Luce and Democrat Emanuel Celler in 1943 and signed into law by President Harry Truman on July 2, 1946.
It provided a quota of 100 Filipinos and 100 Indians to immigrate into the United States per year. As the Philippines became independent from the United States in 1946, Filipinos would have been barred from immigrating without the Act.The act also allowed Filipino Americans and Indian Americans to naturalize and become US citizens. Indian Americans had not been allowed to naturalize since United States v. Bhagat Singh Thind in 1923, which the law effectively reversed. Upon becoming citizens, the new Americans could own homes and farmland and petition for family from their nation of birth.Racial classification of Indian Americans
The racial classification of Indian Americans has varied over the years and across institutions. Originally, neither the courts nor the census bureau classified Indian Americans as a race because there were only negligible numbers of Indian immigrants in the United States. For most of America's early history, the government only recognized two racial classifications, "White" or "Colored". Due to racist immigration laws of the time, those deemed "Colored" were often stripped of their American citizenship or denied the ability to become citizens. For these reasons, various South Asians in America took the government to court to try and be considered "White" instead of "Colored", using various rationales.It wasn't until 1980, amid pressures within the Indian community for recognition, that the census created an "Asian Indian" category. Around 360,000 people identified as such in 1980; in the last census, in 2010, this grew to 2.8 million. Since 1980, the U.S. Census Bureau further allowed Indian Americans to self-report their ethnicity, owing to the immense diversity of the Indian subcontinent, which is home to more than 2000 different ethnic groups and all the racial groups known to mankind. Only the continent of Africa exceeds the linguistic, genetic and cultural diversity of the nation of India. The decision to let Indian Americans self-identify was made both in light of the aforementioned diversity in India, which has all the different racial groups represented in its diverse population, in addition to accommodate the fact that in recent years, increasingly diverse racial and ethnic groups of Indians and South Asians have immigrated to the United States.Sindhi Americans
Sindhi Americans are Americans or residents of the United States who are of Sindhi descent. They are a subgroup of Pakistani Americans and Indian Americans.South Asian Americans
South Asian Americans are often considered to include people who themselves or their ancestors migrated from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. Following is the list of South Asian diasporas living in the USA arranged according to their 2017 population estimated by United States Census Bureau.
Indian Americans (4,402,362)
Indo-Caribbean Americans (232,817)
Indo-Fijian Americans (30,890)
Pakistani Americans (544,640)
Bangladeshi Americans (185,622)
Nepalese Americans (182,385)
Sri Lankan Americans (52,448)
Bhutanese Americans (26,845)
Maldivian AmericanWest Indian Americans
West Indian Americans or Caribbean Americans are Americans who can trace their recent ancestry to the Caribbean, unless they are of native descent. As of 2016, about 3,019,686 people residing in the United States — 0.934% of the total US population — have West Indian ancestry.The Caribbean is the source of the United States' earliest and largest Black immigrant group and the primary source of growth of the Black population in the U.S. The region has exported more of its people than any other region of the world since the abolition of slavery in 1834. While the largest Caribbean immigrant sources to the U.S. are Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Haiti, U.S. citizen migrants also come from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Asian Americans1, 2