One in 2 Indian Americans Regularly Face Discrimination: Survey

According to the survey, the basis of discrimination is country of origin, skin colour, caste and religion.

South Asians
2 min read
One in 2 Indian Americans Regularly Face Discrimination: Survey
Hindi Female

Indian Americans, who form the second-largest immigrant group in the US, are often subjected to discrimination and polarisation, according to a survey released on Wednesday, 9 June.

A report titled 'social realities of Indian Americans' based on a survey jointly conducted by the Asian American foundation and Carnegie endowment for international peace, University of Penn suggests one in every two Indian Americans face discrimination in the US, while perpetrators include both brown and white Americans.

According to the report which surveyed 1,200 Indian Americans between 1 September and 20 September 2020, in partnership with the research and analytics firm YouGov, 81% of the Indian Americans think that discrimination is a problem.

The respondents agreed that country of origin, skin colour, caste and religion are the basis of this discrimination.


When asked if they have been discriminated against in the past year, 30% believe their skin color was cause of discrimination, while 18 % think it was their religion and gender. Religion and gender were cause of discrimination listed by both Indians and Non-Indians, however the Non-Indians got a higher vote with a difference of 39 and 29% respectively.

Indians born in the US are more vocal about this discrimination as compared to the Indians who immigrated to the US, the report suggests.

Another interesting finding of the survey was the understanding of how Indian Americans identify themselves as. Only 43% of the sample agreed with the term Indian American to describe their identity. 25% identify themselves as Indians, one percent as NRIs, and six percent each as American and Asian American.

Indian Americans showed a high rate of marriage among the community. US born Indian-Americans prefer partners of their own community but born in the US. With respect to friends, members of the community are more likely to have friends belonging to the same religion as theirs. The same does not explicitly apply to the region and caste.


Out of the 1200 respondents to this survey, 54% respondents identified themselves as Hindus, thirteen percent as Muslims, 11% as Christians, one percent Buddhists, and16% as agnostics, atheists, and persons without any religious affiliations.

According to the US census, Indian Americans form more than one percent of the population and is the second largest immigrant group in the US with a large number of pending applications for permanent residency.

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