Survey Reveals Consistency and Diversity in Asian American Hindu Identity

A recent survey conducted by the Pew Research Center has shed light on the religious landscape within the Asian American community, with a particular focus on Hinduism. The findings provide insights into the faith and cultural connections of this demographic.

Approximately half of Asian American adults who self-identify as Indian continue to practice Hinduism, with 48 percent of respondents aligning themselves with this ancient religion. This statistic remains relatively stable compared to 2012 when it stood at 51 percent.

The survey also discovered that about one in ten Asian Americans now regard Hinduism as their religious affiliation, with 11 percent of respondents identifying as Hindus. This number has shown little change since 2012 when it was reported at 10 percent.

Furthermore, the survey revealed that 6 percent of all Asian Americans express a strong sense of closeness to Hinduism, often due to factors like ancestral or cultural ties. In total, two-thirds of Indian Americans either identify as Hindu or have a profound affinity for Hinduism.

Of those Asian American Hindus surveyed, one-third emphasized the importance of religion in their lives, while an additional 38 percent considered it to be somewhat important. The survey highlighted that approximately 31 percent of these individuals attend religious services monthly or even more frequently.

Hindus emerge as the group with the highest proportion among Asian American religious communities who incorporate altars, shrines, or religious symbols in their homes for worship, with a remarkable 79 percent adopting these practices. Among Hindus who place a high priority on religion in their lives, this figure rises to 89 percent.

Notably, approximately 92 percent of Asian American Hindu adults were born outside of the United States, representing the highest proportion of foreign-born individuals among Asian American religious groups.

In contrast, among religiously unaffiliated Asian Americans who feel a cultural closeness to Hinduism, a significantly higher percentage are born in the United States (35 percent) compared to those who explicitly identify as Hindus (8 percent).

When examining the socioeconomic status of Asian American Hindus, it becomes evident that this group exhibits remarkable achievements. A substantial 61 percent of them hold postgraduate degrees, in stark contrast to the 22 percent figure among all Asian American adults. Moreover, 44 percent of Asian American Hindus report a family income exceeding $150,000, which surpasses the 32 percent figure for Asian Americans as a whole.

The recent Pew Research Center survey has not only confirmed the resilience of Hinduism among Asian American adults who self-identify as Indian but has also highlighted the diversity within this community. While some strongly identify as Hindus and actively practice the religion, others feel a cultural or ancestral connection to Hinduism. The data also reveals that Asian American Hindus, as a group, have achieved remarkable success in terms of education and income, further enriching the complex tapestry of the Asian American experience.

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