While many Asian Americans come from multi-generational households, each generation is distinct. Market assumptions based on first-generation Asian Americans do not necessarily translate to the second generation and beyond.
Below are five characteristics to understand the next generation of Asian Americans.
1. A majority consider themselves “typical Americans”
Nearly six out of ten adults in the second generation consider themselves to be a “typical American,” which is about double the share of first-generation immigrants who say the same.
2. A strong sense of multi-generational culture
Twenty-nine percent of second-generation Asian American adults live in multi-generational family households compared to 18 percent of the overall adult population. Among 25- to 34-year-old Asian Americans, 39 percent of the second generation live in multi-generational family households, compared to 28 percent of the total population in this age group.
3. Express themselves through Facebook
Asian Americans tend to feel more comfortable expressing themselves on digital media, which stems in part from the composition of online communities. Forty-six percent of Asian Americans’ Facebook friends are predominately made up of friends and family who are within their own generation or younger.
4. Defy the STEM stereotypes
According to Larry Shinagawa, director of the Asian American Studies Program at the University of Maryland, Asian Americans (second-, third-, or fourth generation) have recently begun to defy the STEM stereotype. A greater number of them study humanities and social sciences versus STEM disciplines. And after completing their studies, an increasing number of them are entering into law and business.
5. Associate well with other racial and ethnic groups
Sixty-four percent of second-generation Asian Americans say their group gets along well with all major racial and ethnic groups in America, compared to only 49 percent of first-generation immigrants. Among those who married, 23 percent of second-generation Asian American have a non-Asian spouse, compared with 10 percent of the immigrant generation. The percentage with a non-Asian spouse rises to 31 percent among Asian Americans in the third generation and higher.
Many Asian Americans come from multi-generational households and have strong influences of their ancestral culture, but many also feel they are part of America’s cultural society. Marketers should take a balanced approach when targeting second-generation Asian Americans. The message should combine the positive aspects of both Asian and American culture.
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Sources: Facebook IQ, International Business Times, Pew Research