- The survey traces how Asian Americans feel about the homelands to which they trace their heritage, as well as about the U.S. and China.
Thirty-three percent of Indian Americans are willing to return to their country of origin, while 76 percent have a favorable opinion of India, a new study by the Pew Research Center has revealed. Co-authored by Neil G. Ruiz, Carolyne Im, Christine Huang, and Laura Silver, it traces they how feel about the homelands in Asia to which they trace their heritage, as well as about the U.S. and China.
Among the seven origin groups highlighted in the study, “the difference is largest on views of India,” co-authors say. “Seventy-six percent of Indian adults have a favorable opinion of India, compared with 23 percent of other Asian adults, a gap of 53 percentage points.” Though similar shares of U.S.-born Indian adults and Indian immigrants have a favorable opinion of India, those born in the U.S. are more like than those born abroad to say they have a neutral view of the country (31 percent vs. 13 percent). Thirty-three percent of Asian Americans have favorable views of India, 41 percent report a neutral view and 23 percent view it unfavorably.
When asked whether they would ever move to India, 33 percent of Indian adults say they would, compared with 65 percent of Indian adults who say the opposite. Immigrants who have been in the U.S. for less time are particularly likely to be open to moving back relative to those who have been in the U.S. for longer (87 percent vs. 73 percent). Foreign-born Indian adults are more likely than those born in the U.S. to say they would move to India (36 percent vs. (14 percent). Nearly all U.S.-born Indian adults say they would not move to India (85 percent).
Among the third of Indian adults who say they would move to India, about half say the main reason for the move is to be closer to loved ones. Smaller shares cite lower cost of living (12 percent), more familiarity with Indian culture (7 percent), more job opportunities (6 percent), and better elder care (6 percent) as the main reason they would move there.
Indian adults are also the most likely to say India will be the world’s leading economic power, with 15 percent holding this view. “No more than 2 percent of any other origin group highlighted in this report say the same,” the study says.
When it comes to the U.S., “Indian Americans are more likely to have a favorable opinion of the United States than of any other place our survey asked about,” co-authors say. “Nearly nine-in-ten Indian adults say this, including 56 percent who have a very favorable view of the U.S.” Most Indian adults also see Japan (70 percent) and South Korea (60 percent) in a favorable light. About half say they have a favorable opinion of Taiwan. When asked about their opinion of Vietnam and the Philippines, about half of Indian Americans say they have neither a favorable nor unfavorable opinion of each country (52 percent each).
However, their views of China are much more negative. “Some 59 percent of Indian adults say they have an unfavorable opinion of China, including 32 percent who report very unfavorable opinions of the country,” the study observes. “Overall, Indian adults are 12 percentage points less likely than other Asian adults to say their opinion of China is favorable.”