According to The Sacramento Bee, China has surpassed Mexico as the country sending the most immigrants to California.
The publication reports that while that number of immigrants from China has been on the rise over that past decade, the number of immigrants from Mexico — previously the top sending country — has been on the decline.
Data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Public Policy Institute of California, according to the Sacramento paper, reveals about 33,000 Chinese immigrants arrived in California last year. That’s nearly triple the number that arrived in 2005. Meanwhile, the number of immigrants from Mexico arriving in California declined from 100,000 in 2005 to a little over 30,000 last year.
India — which sent about 29,500 immigrants to California in 2014 — is also on pace to surpass Mexico.
The influx of Asian immigrants to California, as the paper highlights, is due in large part to the tech industry and higher educational opportunities in the state. The Sacramento Bee pointed to factors including the economy and limited growth in traditionally Mexican immigration industries such as construction and service sector jobs.
“Meanwhile, emigration from China and other Asian countries has grown largely because of increased demand for highly skilled workers, particularly in the technology industry. Arrivals from Asia have disproportionately settled in and around Silicon Valley, census figures show,” the paper reports, noting that many of the new foreign tech hires come to the U.S. on H-1B visas.
Further Asian enrollment in the California university system is also on the rise.
“China also is sending many more students to America, and particularly California, to attend college. The state’s public colleges have dramatically increased the number of foreign-born students on their campuses. The number of international freshmen enrolling at University of California rose almost sixfold from 1,048 in 2009 to 6,071 in 2015, system data show,” the report reads.
While the number of arrivals is on the rise, Hispanics still outnumber Asians in California three-fold — compare 15 million Hispanics to about 5.3 million Asians living in the Golden State.
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