Right after the civil war, millions of immigrants have begun to stream to America. Majority of U.S immigrants came from Ireland, England and Germany. Large number of Chinese population also migrated in the US between 1849 to 1882. But this came to a standstill when the federal laws restricted the migration of Chinese. The other one was from the late 70s up to the present. Some of the reasons for Chinese migration to the western regions in the USA included economic turmoil and political unrest.
Labor Migration from China
A lot of them did manual jobs like mining, farming and some construction and manufacturing jobs. This migration led to ethnic discrimination and anti-Chinese sentiment which resulted in the passing of their exclusion act in 1882 by the U.S congress. The Act banned labor migration from China to the U.S and blocked Chinese from obtaining U.S citizenship. This Act was revoked in 1943.
Nationals from Hong Kong started moving to the U.S in the late 1960s. 1 out 10 Chinese Immigrants originated from Hong Kong. China has now become the main source of foreign students for higher education in the United States. Which is an interesting figure, raising awareness among students the major differences between English and Chinese language.
The United Nations Population Division estimates that a quarter of all Chinese expatriates settle in the U.S while the rest settle in Singapore, Japan, Canada, Australia and south Korea. These immigrants get permits to stay in the U.S through gaining permanent lawful residence or through preferences. In 2013, the top 4 counties that had the highest number of immigrants from china were San Francisco and Los Angeles in California, and Queens and Kings in New York.
It was estimated that immigrants from China are less likely to be fluent in the English language. They, however, have the tendency to have a much higher educational attainment with at least 47% of them having a bachelor’s degree as compared to 28% of the total Chinese immigrants.
The Total Number of Chinese Immigrants in the U.S
The population of immigrants from China had a median age of 45 years compared to 43 years and 36 years of the foreign-born and native-born populations respectively. The immigrants are likely to be employed in the arts, business, science or management sectors but their participation in the labor force is much lower, making learning Chinese not as simple as it seems.
It is estimated that the immigrants have entered into the U.S with about 53% before the start of the new millennium, 30% from 2000 until 2009 and approximately 17% in 2010 and beyond. It is interesting to note that there are no Chinese nationals arriving as refugees in the U.S, however, china is the main country of U.S asylum candidates.
It is noted that about 18% of the migrants from China are less likely to be uninsured as compared to 32% of the total number of immigrants. The total population of Chinese in the U.S is about 4.4 M people according to research findings from the U.S Census Bureau. And in 2013, remittances worldwide that were sent to China amounted to almost $60 billion which is less than 1% of China’s GDP according to World Bank.