Poverty among Korean Americans

Kyonghee Min, Chungbuk National University
Mary G. Powers, Fordham University

Public use microdata samples of the 2000 U.S. census are used to examine the income of Korean immigrants and their children with particular attention to poverty levels. Assimilation and human capital perspectives provide the framework for a logistic regression analysis of poverty among Korean American householders. Major findings include the following: First, the rate of poverty among Korean Americans was very high compared to native Whites and other Asian minorities. Second, the assimilation approach is only partially confirmed in that the poverty rate of the second generation is lower than that for the first generation but higher than that for the 1.5 generation. Third, the poverty rate varied by sex in each generation and the poverty rate among men was much lower than that among women. Finally, four explanatory factors operate differently by generation and by sex in each generation in accounting for the poverty status of Korean American householders.

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Presented in Session 151: Policy Dimensions of Immigrant Settlement