Immigration. Travel. Living.

China: History of immigration

China on the globe

By definition, immigration usually happens on an international scale, when people are moving to another country where they are not natives and not possess citizenship in order to settle there as permanent residents, naturalized citizens, as well as to seek for an employment in a foreign country.

In general, China’s immigration started when various manual workers (mostly men) arrived in America due to the search of low skilled labour in different areas such as agriculture, railroad construction and mining.

However, historically, there have been several waves of immigration of China. The first wave appeared in the 19th century and the second wave has appeared already during the middle of the 19th century.

The first wave of immigration

The first wave of immigration appeared in the 1850s, when Chinese immigrants moved to the U.S.A. in the times of the California gold rush. The first chinatowns started to appear.There, Chinese people could easily find jobs at farmlands, as gardeners or laundry and railroad workers. However, by the 1882, the congress passed a Chinese exclusion act, which banned Chinese immigration to the U.S.A.

The second wave of immigration

The second wave of a significant China’s immigration started in the 1949, when the U.S.A. granted a refugee status to five thousands educated Chinese workers, after a Communist government was launched in China. It continued in the 1965, when the described restriction period ended and Chinese people started to settle in the U.S.A. Also, a new immigration act removed all racial bias from the U.S.A. immigration laws.

However, some sources describe the different timing for the 2nd wave of China’s immigration, stating that it happened in the late 1970s and continues to develop up until now.

Division between Chinese immigrants and Hong Kong nationals

Historically, there is a division between nationals of Hong Kong and Chinese immigrants as their immigration flow was different. This flow of immigrants started in the late 1960s, when they moved in the U.S.A. These immigrants were skilled students aiming to receive a higher education in the U.S.A. Some of these immigrants also were arriving on the basis of various investor visa programs the EB-5 investor visa program in the beginning of the 21st century.

Education level of Chinese immigrants

Also, nowadays, when compared to the overall native population in the U.S.A. Chinese immigrants are more educated and are capable of being employed in management positions. For example, according to the data of the U.S. Census bureau, which was carried out by an American community survey in 2016, merely a half of Chinese adults of ages 25 and up have had a bachelor’s degree (at least), as they were twice as likely to have a graduate or other higher degree, when compared to the other immigrant groups.

Income level of Chinese immigrants

Therefore, according to the already mentioned difference, when it comes to viewing the income patterns of Chinese families, it is obvious that such families are less likely to live in poverty than other immigrant families. The collected statistical data also approves this fact.

Health level of Chinese immigrants

Moreover, the health level of Chinese immigrants is higher when compared to other immigrant groups. Health coverage data of the U.S. Census bureau, which was carried by out an American community survey in 2016 of Chinese immigrants shows that they were more likely to obtain private health insurance than the overall number of foreigners in the U.S.A. – 67% to 56%.

Statistical data on China’s immigration

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Statistically, according the data of the U.S. Census bureau, which was carried out by an American community survey in 2016 by using information collected between 2011 and 2015 by the Department of homeland security’s, during the whole period of China’s immigration, there has been approximately 44 millions of immigrants. For example, the amount of immigrants from China in the U.S.A. doubled from approximately three hundred thousand in 1980 to more than five hundred thousand in 1990. Then, it reached almost a million in 2000 and in 2016 China reached 2.1 million people, which is 5% of all its immigrated population.

Most recent China’s immigration destinations in the U.S.A.

Today, recently collected data shows that China’s immigrant population is generally located in two states – California (about 31% of all the US immigrants) and New York (about 20% of all the US immigrants). However, there are also other destinations which are considered to be on the China’s immigration toplist. These are: Queens county, Los Angeles county, Kings county, as well as San Francisco county.

Other China’s immigration destinations

The U.S.A. is not the only country to which population of China was moving to other regions. Other popular destinations included Canada (939 thousand immigrants), Japan (652 thousand immigrants), South Korea (751 thousand immigrants), Singapore (511 thousand immigrants) and Australia (547 thousand immigrants).

Also read about expat life in China!

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