The Migration Information Source just released a report on Korean Immigrants in the United States.
Some notable findings:
- There were 1.5 million members of the Korean diaspora residing in the United States in 2008.
- In 2008, 51 percent of Korean foreign-born adults had a bachelor’s degree or higher.
- More than one in four Korean immigrants did not have health insurance.
- About 251,000 children under age 18 resided in a household with a Korean immigrant parent.
And a notable absence:
- Not a single mention of whether or not, and how, transnationally adopted Koreans fit into this picture.
I’m interested in this not only because I’m a Korean American immigrant and therefore one body counted in this data, but also because of how it affects and reflects both my personal and professional lives.
Most of my family members are small business owners and have struggled to get, maintain, and use health insurance. More than 1 in 4? That’s a frightening ratio. What the data doesn’t tell you is the actual or estimated physical/medical/mental health needs of said Korean diaspora, and the rate at which we can/not access the necessary resources.
If more than half of Korean immigrants have a bachelor’s degree or higher, what does that mean for our attitudes towards education, libraries, our children’s education, etc? Are we now working in careers that are commensurate with our degrees, expertise, skills? Earning salaries that are on par with our non-Korean immigrant colleagues? And then those 251,000 children – what kind of library services, school media resources, children’s and young adult literature will they need?
And finally, do the Migration Information Source and US Census count transnationally adopted Koreans? Or are they categorized, counted, and analyzed elsewhere? And if so… where? And why?