From the vice president of the USA to the newly appointed CEO of Twitter, Indian Americans are making their presence felt. Their influence is growing across politics, economics and society as a whole. Indians are the second-largest group of immigrants in the United States of America.
There are more than 4 million Indian Americans in the USA. Many come here with the aim of eventually becoming American citizens but they each bring with them a part of their culture and past.
Read: Asians In The USA – The Fastest Growing Ethnic Group In The Country
The Indian Americans – Region Of Origin
Though they may have gone abroad, most Indian immigrants in the USA still identify with their home state of origin in India. According to the 2020 Indian American Attitudes survey, 64% of Indian American residents refer to a single state within India as their home state. A further 12% call multiple states their home states.
Of the 28 Indian states, Gujarat was called home by the maximum number of Indian Americans. 14% of the survey responders identified with Gujarat as their home state while 12% identified with Maharashtra and 10% identified with Andhra Pradesh. Delhi, Punjab and Kerala were identified as home states only by 9%, 8% and 7% of the responders respectively.
Read: Changing Demographics Of Immigrants In The USA
Indian Americans And The Linguistic Connections
In India, almost every state has its own state or regional language. Hence, apart from geography, linguistic connections were also considered to link Indian Americans with their home state. While the maximum number of responders said that Hindi was their mother tongue at home, Gujarati was second.
Around 14% of the responders said that their parents spoke Gujarati at home – further proving that Gujarat sends the most Indians to America. Telegu was the only other state language to cross the 10% mark.
|Language Spoken By Parents||Percentage Of Responders|
Indian American Demographics And Religious Identity
It is no surprise to note that 54% of the survey responders identified as Hindus. Agnostics and atheists accounted for 16% of the sample while 13% identified as Muslims and 11% identified as Christians.
In terms of the importance of religion in their daily lives, 72% of the responders said that it ranges from being very important to somewhat important. This reflects the overall sentiment of the American population in general.
Over 27% of the survey responders claimed to attend religious services once or more than once a week while 40% said that they attended religious services only once or twice or month or occasionally throughout the year.
Approximate 31% said that they seldom participate in such activities. In relation to their religious identities, Christians observed the most religious service attendance followed by Muslims and Hindus.
Indo-American And The Caste Issue
Of the Indian Americans surveyed, 53% of the Hindu responders reported that they did not identify with a specific caste. However, there was a marked difference in responses based on their place of birth.
Almost 53% of Hindu Indian Americans born outside the USA said they were affiliated with a caste group while only 34% of Hindu Indian Americans born in the USA felt the same way. A majority identify as belonging to the general or upper caste while only 16% identify as OBCs.
Indo-American And Self-Identification
There was a lot of variation seen in how the survey responders identified themselves. 43% of the responders identified as Indian American while 25% identified as Indian. 6% identified as Americans. Other nomenclatures used included South Asian American, Asian Indian, Asian American and Non-resident Indians.
|South Asian American||10%|
When correlating religious beliefs, it was found that 86% of Hindus identified with being Indian in some way while only 71% of Christians and 52% of Muslims felt the same way. Christians emerged as the most likely to identify as Americans.
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