Sociology Mind

Volume 6, Issue 2 (April 2016)

ISSN Print: 2160-083X   ISSN Online: 2160-0848

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The Life Satisfaction of Asian Americans: Evidence from the U.S. General Social Survey, 1972 to 2010

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ABSTRACT

We use the U.S. General Social Survey to investigate the overall life satisfaction of Asian Americans. In contrast to most other racial minority groups in the U.S., Asian Americans are advantaged over whites in regard to education and incomes which are known to be correlated with overall life satisfaction. Despite these socioeconomic advantages, Asian Americans express somewhat lower levels of overall life satisfaction than whites. Foreign-born Asian Americans are more likely than whites to be “not too happy” while native-born Asian Americans are less likely than whites to be “very happy.” This pattern persists even after controlling for educational attainment and the distribution of household income. The implications of these findings are discussed in regard to the social psychology, assimilation, and demographic characteristics of Asian Americans. Asian Americans are often portrayed as the “Model Minority,” but they appear to be somewhat less happy with what they have.

Cite this paper

Sakamoto, A. , Chiu, C. , Li, J. and Wang, S. (2016) The Life Satisfaction of Asian Americans: Evidence from the U.S. General Social Survey, 1972 to 2010. Sociology Mind, 6, 40-52. doi: 10.4236/sm.2016.62003.

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