Taiwanese immigration


Table of Contents

Most immigrants move to the United States for a number of reasons. Among them are in search of the American dream. In other words, they go searching for better lives and opportunity to fulfill their dreams. The Taiwanese are not an exception. The 24th largest group of immigrants in the country according to the 2010 census figures leaves their countries of origin in Asia with their families for the prospect of a better life offered in the US. Despite the fact that the Taiwanese only form a small part of the US immigrants, the US is without a doubt, their favorite destination. Therefore, the main reason Taiwanese immigrate to the United States is for education and work.

According to a 2010 census bureau, there are about 342,000 Taiwanese immigrants in the United States. However, this group is the same size with the Italians and the Japanese in the country. Even though the Taiwanese have almost similar characteristics with the Chinese, they are commonly grouped separately. Still, there are hurdles when it comes to grouping them since some of them refer to themselves as the Chinese. However, in the 2010 census campaign, there were heightened calls for the Taiwanese to be recognized as a separate ethnic community from the Chinese (Kang & Yang, 2011).

According to the Census figures, up to half of the immigrants are in California. New York is the second town which this Asian group prefers. What this trend indicates is that the Taiwanese earn better incomes to live in the American suburbia. In fact, the Taiwanese immigrants are a well-educated group. As a result, they tend to land the white collar jobs that are well paying than the jobs other immigrants get (Lin, 2015). Apparently, the poverty levels are also expected to be low given the kind of employment they get and their level of education.

Ma and Cartier (2003) contend that, “From 1945-1965, a small number of students came to the U.S. In addition, a limited number of spouses of American military personnel who had been stationed in Taiwan arrived” (p. 176). This is still during the same period. At the close of the 1970s, the Taiwanese that had made the US their home brought their families to live with them (Chen, 2009). With time, this community established a viable diaspora identity that kept the business, as well as, political links between America and Taiwan alive.

Immigration slowed down in the early 1990s based on several factors. Min (2011) contends that it is not difficult to determine just why the rate of immigrants significantly decreased. Among them is the fact that the political environment in Taiwan was improving. Martial law came to an end in 1987 and was followed by the democratic process in the country. The improved state of things even encouraged a section of the migrants to return home (Min, 2011). The improved economy was in dire need of skills from the diaspora.

The United States used to be the favorite destination for the Taiwanese students. However, that has changed, and most of them are attending universities at home (Chang, Bai & Wang, 2014). As a result, a number of students taking the trip overseas to study has significantly diminished. In actual sense, this indicates that the quality of local universities has gotten better to compete with those in the United States. Regardless of the improved level of education in the country, a section of the Taiwanese nationals still immigrate to the US for the jobs.

Despite the improved level of education and economy compared to the 80s, the Taiwanese jobs are not comparable to those in the US. Therefore, there still Taiwanese graduates moving to the United States in search of better jobs than those they get at home (Chang, Bai & Wang, 2014). Furthermore, most of the people choosing to immigrate to America also want to further their education. There are still some Taiwanese that consider the United States as the best destination for further learning and exposure. Therefore, many Taiwanese moves to the United States to either improve their education or land a better paying job than the ones available in their home country.


The United State is the choice for most immigrants as they view it as unhealthy hunting. In actual sense, this group questions their shooting ability and quality. The 1980s and 1990s is a period when a section of the population is based on the amount the better rate of payment and education. However, this trend where most of the Taiwanese immigrants are going to the United States has changed.  With a democratic environment, the country has made significant leaps and education is currently better. Unfortunately, this has not fully translated into jobs. Taiwanese jobs have lower pay which cannot adequately match those offered in the United States. In that context, the Asian country still has some ground to cover.

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  1. Chang, T. S., Bai, Y., & Wang, T. W. (2014). Students’ classroom experience in foreign-faculty and local-faculty classes in public and private universities in Taiwan. Higher Education68(2), 207-226.
  2. Chen, H. (2009). Getting Saved in America: Taiwanese Immigration and Religious Experience. By Carolyn Chen. Princeton University Press 2008. Pp. 248. $35.00. ISBN: 0-691-11962-7. Journal of Law and Religion25(01), 237-242.
  3. Kang, Y., & Yang, K. C. (2011). The rhetoric of ethnic identity construction among Taiwanese immigrants in the United States. The Howard Journal of Communications22(2), 163-182.
  4. Ma, L. J. C., & Cartier, C. L. (2003). The Chinese diaspora: Space, place, mobility, and identity. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
  5. Lin, C. (2015). How Do Immigrants from Taiwan Fare in the US Labor Market?. The Singapore Economic Review, 1550057.
  6. Min, P. G. (2011). The immigration of Koreans to the United States: A review of 45 year (1965–2009) trends. Development and Society40(2), 195-223.
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