Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Asian immigrants to Pittsburgh up, potential "brain gain".

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writes that Asians and Asian-Americans are now the second-largest minority group in Pittsburgh.
That puts Pittsburgh right in line with the national trend, according to a Pew Research Center report released Tuesday.

The report says that Asian immigrants have overtaken Hispanics as the immigrant group with the greatest number of new arrivals in the country. Asian-Americans comprise 5.8 percent of the nation's population, and 3.17 percent of Pennsylvania's population, according to the report. In the Pittsburgh metro area, 2.1 percent of the population by 2010 Census data is Asian, compared to 1.3 percent who are Hispanic. Within the city limits, 5 percent are Asian, compared to 2.3 percent Hispanic, from the same census data.

And it's not just Pittsburgh's rivers attracting Asian-Americans. It's also institutions such as Carnegie Mellon University, UPMC and employment opportunities with the Marcellus Shale industries, said Melanie Harrington, who works to welcome immigrants to the city through the organization Vibrant Pittsburgh. She listed the industries to which new Asian immigrants are attracted: the education sector, health care, technology, energy and business entrepreneurship, among many.
Who in the blue hell suggested anyone comes to Pittsburgh for the rivers, though? The University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon attract a lot of Asian students, researchers, professors, and other professionals, but they are generally just here for the duration of their studies or for short-term contracts.
Although many Asians come to Pittsburgh for the universities -- nearly 81 percent of Carnegie Mellon's international students last year were Asian -- those who stay in the country don't always choose to live in Pittsburgh. Zipei Tu came from China in 2006 to study at CMU, but he was the only one in his class to remain after graduating. Mr. Tu, who works in international sales for an information technology firm, said his friends left for San Francisco, New York and Washington, D.C. He added that the "temporary" population of Chinese immigrants in Pittsburgh -- mostly students -- is greater than the permanent population.

"Let me put it frankly," he said. "I don't think people here are as open as in other areas."
If you look at the 2010 census map, compiled by the New York Times, you can see where Pittsburgh's Asians are living.

As expected, concentrations are highest in Oakland, Shadyside, and Squirrel Hill. That tract around Fifth Ave. and Craig Street, where they've crammed 2,400 people into high-rises, has the highest in the city at 31%.

The maps provided by the Pew Research Center's report, "The Rise of Asian Americans", break it down even further. Though you can't see neighborhood-by-neighborhood data, you can see where Koreans, Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, Indian, Filipino, and Asian-Americans have gathered. Not surprisingly, concentrations are highest in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and State College.

Japanese in Pennsylvania, for example.