By Beatrice E. Rangel
Pew Research broke the news that there are 20 million U.S. residents from Asian origins. This is about half the population of Latinos in the U.S.
But while the Latinos are restricting themselves to one or two children, Asian Americans are attracted to the notion of larger families averaging 2.7 children per couple. In fact, the U.S. Asian population grew 72% between 2000 and 2015 (from 11.9 million to 20.4 million), the fastest growth rate of any major ethnic group.
Placed into historical perspective about 25% of all incoming migration flows since 1965 are of Asian origin. This means that someday in the distant future Asian Americans could match and pass the Latinos. And this could happen as early as 2055.
And what do we need to learn from this development?
First and most obviously, that the U.S. population base is diversifying rather rapidly and thus isolationism will most probably be sent to the drawers of history.
Second, that the U.S. will have the appropriate workforce to deal with the rise of China.
And third that the US will become increasingly competitive and certainly more competitive than Europe.
Indeed, the Asian population is diverse representing over 20 nations in Asia, with China (5 million) leading the countries of origin; followed by India (4 million); the Philippines (4 million); Vietnam (2 million); Korea (2 million); and Japan (1.5 million).
These nations thus have human anchors in the U.S. to further their trade while the U.S. has an army of well educated and relatively affluent Sherpas to push U.S. products and services into the Asian nations.
From the purely economic perspective, Asians are great savers and education achievers. The median annual income of households headed by Asian Americans is $73,060, compared with $53,600 among all U.S. households.
And while individuals coming from Bangladesh, Hmong, Nepal and Burma earn lower income per capita than the average U.S. household, the leading nationalities are far more affluent than most American households.
Education is yet another area where the Asian fingerprint is bound to be beneficial. Asian countries speak languages encrypted in semantics. English and other Western languages (e.g., French, German) are alphabetic languages. The basic structural unit is the phoneme (the smallest unit of sound). Chinese is an orthographic language. In an orthographic language you deal with morphemes which represent concepts. Each morpheme is used "in isolation." Each morpheme has a stand-alone meaning. To speak Chinese, you need to understand concepts and how they relate among themselves and memorize their looks which we the Westerners call Characters.
Asians thus have their brains trained in data processing which is the basis of growth in the information era. This gives Asians a competitive edge that other mortals lack. And Asian Americans are depositories of this wealth creating ability.
All these dimensions of the Asian American population are at the root of most economic predictions on the greater perspectives the U.S. has to strengthen its economy through exchanges with Asia and to come out primus inter pares in a faceoff with China.Beatrice Rangel is President & CEO of the AMLA Consulting Group, which provides growth and partnership opportunities in US and Hispanic markets. AMLA identifies the best potential partner for businesses which are eager to exploit the growing buying power of the US Hispanic market and for US Corporations seeking to find investment partners in Latin America. Previously, she was Chief of Staff for Venezuela President Carlos Andres Perez as well as Chief Strategist for the Cisneros Group of Companies.
For her work throughout Latin America, Rangel has been honored with the Order of Merit of May from Argentina, the Condor of the Andes Order from Bolivia, the Bernardo O'Higgins Order by Chile, the Order of Boyaca from Colombia, and the National Order of Jose Matías Delgado from El Salvador.
You can follow her on twitter @BEPA2009 or contact her directly at BRangel@amlaconsulting.com.