Malaysian American Culture

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Encyclopedia Entry

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Publication Title

Asian American Culture: From Anime to Tiger Moms


Malaysian Americans, as naturalized citizens and permanent residents, make up a small percentage of the burgeoning Asian population of nearly 19 million in the United States. In 2013, 1,169 Malaysians became American citizens, which was less than half a percent of the 275,700 Asians who became American citizens that year. In addition, 2,477 Malaysians obtained permanent resident status in 2013 out of a total of 400,548 Asians. Malaysian statistics indicate that in 2013, a total of 308,834 highly trained Malaysians migrated overseas, and 12.2 percent of them moved to the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada. But these numbers do not distinguish between those who obtained permanent residency or citizenship and those on work permits or student visas. It is therefore more helpful to understand the Malaysian American community as broader than just permanent residents and naturalized citizens. International and exchange students as well as working professionals on temporary or long-term work permits are also integral members of this community. These students and professionals are vibrant contributors to the cities they live in, especially through community and student organizations that have become hubs for Malaysian Americans in the United States.


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