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Poverty among Korean Americans in the U.S. KYONGHEE MIN Department of Sociology, CHUNGBUK UNIVERSITY The number of Korean emigrants to the United States has increased rapidly after the 1965 Immigration and Naturalization Act. As of 2000 there were 1,228,427 Koreans (both Koreans who identified themselves entirely as Koreans and those who identified as partially Koreans) in the United States. Koreans were 4th largest ethnic group among Asians in 2000 following Chinese, Filipinos, and Asian Indians. Comparative studies have led to the view of Asian Americans as ‘model minorities’ who generally become middle class Americans. This view drew the attention of researchers away from the problem of poverty among Asian Americans. As a result systematic understanding of the problem of poverty among Asian Americans and among members of each ethnic group of Asian Americans is lacking. This research focuses on the problem of poverty among Korean Americans who identified themselves as entirely Koreans. Korean Americans are classified into three groups, i.e., first generation immigrants, 1.5 generation immigrants, and 2nd generation immigrants. Data are drawn from two sources: previous research works and documents, and 5% sample data of the 2000 U.S. Population Census(IPUMS, Veresion 3.0). Based on two theoretical approaches, Assimilation Approach and Human Capital Approach we propose 4 hypotheses regarding the problem of poverty by sex and generation. To test these hypotheses we use logistic regression analysis of poverty status with four types of independent variables: human capital variables, structural variables, assimilation variables, and variables related to family structure. The results of our analyses show that there are significant differences in poverty rates by gender and by generation and that there are significant differences in the predictor variables explaining poverty by gender and by generation.


Poverty among Korean Americans in the U.S. KYONGHEE MIN Department of Sociology, CHUNGBUK UNIVERSITY The number of Korean emigrants to the United States has increased rapidly after the 1965 Immigration and Naturalization Act. As of 2000 there were 1,228,427 Koreans (both Koreans who identified themselves entirely as Koreans and those who identified as partially Koreans) in the United States. Koreans were 4th largest ethnic group among Asians in 2000 following Chinese, Filipinos, and Asian Indians. Comparative studies have led to the view of Asian Americans as ‘model minorities’ who generally become middle class Americans. This view drew the attention of researchers away from the problem of poverty among Asian Americans. As a result systematic understanding of the problem of poverty among Asian Americans and among members of each ethnic group of Asian Americans is lacking. This research focuses on the problem of poverty among Korean Americans who identified themselves as entirely Koreans. Korean Americans are classified into three groups, i.e., first generation immigrants, 1.5 generation immigrants, and 2nd generation immigrants. Data are drawn from two sources: previous research works and documents, and 5% sample data of the 2000 U.S. Population Census(IPUMS, Veresion 3.0). Based on two theoretical approaches, Assimilation Approach and Human Capital Approach we propose 4 hypotheses regarding the problem of poverty by sex and generation. To test these hypotheses we use logistic regression analysis of poverty status with four types of independent variables: human capital variables, structural variables, assimilation variables, and variables related to family structure. The results of our analyses show that there are significant differences in poverty rates by gender and by generation and that there are significant differences in the predictor variables explaining poverty by gender and by generation.