BY VOA NEWS – A new study says Asian Americans have overtaken Hispanics as the largest group of new immigrants arriving in the United States each year.

The report released Tuesday by the Pew Research Center also found that Asian Americans were the “highest-income, best-educated and fastest growing racial group in the United States.”

The study, entitled “The Rise of Asian Americans,” found that Asians living in the U.S. were more likely than the general public to be satisfied with their lives, finances, and the direction of the country.

It said the total number of Asian Americans increased to a record 18.2 million in 2011, or 5.8 percent of the U.S. population. That is up from less than 1 percent of the U.S. population in 1965.

Asian Americans come to the United States from dozens of countries in the Far East, Southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent.

About 430,000 Asians, or 36 percent of all new immigrants, arrived in the U.S. in 2010. That compares to about 370,000, or 31 percent, who were Hispanic.

While Asian immigration to the U.S. has increased only slightly in recent years, the survey said Asians have become the new face of U.S. immigration largely because of a sharp decline in Hispanic immigrants.

Pew says that Asian immigrants are more likely than some other groups to arrive legally in the United States. It said up to 15 percent of Asian immigrants are in the U.S. illegally, compared to 45 percent of Hispanic immigrants.

The comprehensive survey, based on interviews with over 3,500 Asian Americans, also found that Asians in the U.S. place more value than other Americans on marriage, parenthood, hard work, and career success.

It said more than six-in-ten adults who have come from Asia in recent years have at least a bachelor’s degree, saying this “almost surely makes the recent Asian arrivals the most highly educated cohort of immigrants in U.S. history.”

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