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Why income inequality is growing at the fastest rate among Asian Americans

When Yin Ou’s family moved from Myanmar to the United States in 2009, her mother had to take on minimum wage jobs like packaging jewelry and babysitting to support the family.

“My parents didn’t have the knowledge to start a business, get an IRA, or invest,” says Yin, who lives in New York’s Queens neighborhood. At 22, Yin is the breadwinner and holds three jobs while attending college.

Yin’s story is not unique among Burmese Americans, but it is not often talked about in the great Asian American story. The population of Asian-American Pacific Islanders is extremely diverse. It includes subgroups of more than 20 countries, and economic data often overshadows the poverty experienced by many Asian Americans.

According to the Pew Research Center, the median income of Asian-American households was $ 85,800 in 2019, slightly higher than the median total income of American households. Burmese Americans, however, have a family income of $ 44,400, about half the median income of Asians in the United States. This is an example of the growing income inequality within the Asian American community.

Watch the video above to learn more about the growing income gap between Asian Americans, how it started, and what’s next for the group.

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