May 14, 2014, Washington, D.C. – The Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA) today released a report, “Iranian Americans: Immigration and Assimilation.” The report is the first in a series of three reports that aim to provide more in-depth information about Iranian Americans. The report discusses the three major waves of Iranian immigration to the United States, self-identification of the Iranian American community, and typical benchmarks of assimilation, among other things.
The report found that while Iranian Americans have a high level of English proficiency, a high intermarriage rate, and, as a group, a relatively high socioeconomic status, they are still spatially concentrated in a handful of areas. The report does not aim to make any claims about which of these four benchmarks, traditionally used to measure assimilation, is most important, but to use the benchmarks to describe the evolution of the Iranian American community in these areas. However, though the first three measures point to a steady movement towards assimilation, the latter is a sign that an immigrant community is in the early stages of the assimilation process.
The report avoids assimilation’s past normative or ideological applications and incorporates the belief that the host country’s culture also assimilates and changes as the result of the immigrant experience.
This report is part of PAAIA’s efforts to bring a better understanding of the Iranian American community. Reports on Iranian American civic participation and professional development will be released in the near future.
Click here to read PAAIA’s report “Iranian Americans: Immigration and Assimilation.”