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New York accounts for 16 percent, second only to California, and Hawai'i for 6 percent.However, other states that have historically received fewer Chinese immigrants have witnessed phenomenal growth, such as Texas, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Illinois, Washington, Florida, Maryland, and Pennsylvania.Instead, many new immigrants, especially the affluent and highly skilled, are bypassing inner cities to settle into suburbs immediately after arrival.However, recent residential movements of Chinese Americans into ethnically concentrated suburban communities have tipped the balance of power, raising nativist anxiety of ethnic "invasion" and anti-immigrant sentiment.Some arrived in the United States with little money, minimum education, and few job skills, which forced them to take low-wage jobs and settle in deteriorating urban neighborhoods.Others came with family savings, education and skills far above the levels of average Americans.Immigrants from Taiwan displayed the highest levels of educational attainment with 62 percent having completed at least four years of college, followed by those from Hong Kong (46 percent) and from the mainland (31 percent).Professional occupations were also more common among Chinese Americans than among non- Hispanic whites (36 percent vs. The annual median family income for Chinese Americans was ,000 in 1989, compared to ,000 for the national median family.
In much of the pre-World War II era, the Chinese American community was essentially an isolated bachelors' society consisting of a small merchant class and a vast working class of sojourners (temporary immigrants who intended to return home after making money working in the U. After the 1950s, when hundreds of refugees and their families fled Communist China and arrived in the U. and particularly since the enactment of the 1965 Hart-Cellar Act, the ethnic community has experienced unprecedented demographic and social transformation from a bachelors' society to a family community.
Among cities with populations over 100,000, New York City (365,000), San Francisco (161,000), Los Angeles (74,000), Honolulu (69,000), and San Jose (58,000) have the largest numbers of Chinese Americans.
Traditional urban enclaves, such as Chinatowns in San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Boston, continue to exist and to receive new immigrants, but they no longer serve as primary centers of initial settlement.
Others, who could not afford or were too ashamed to return home, gravitated toward San Francisco's Chinatown for self-protection.
Still others traveled eastward to look for alternative means of livelihood.