"Twice Migrant Koreans in the United States: Their Origins, Socioeconomic Characteristics, and Ethnic Attachment" by Pyong Gap Min

The mass migration of people from all over the world to the U.S. in the post-1965 era has led to the presence of many people of Korean ancestry in the U.S. from various diasporic communities outside of Korea. This paper focuses on re-migrant (“twice-migrant”) Koreans from global diasporic communities to the U.S. It has three specific objectives. First, it looks at the countries and regions of twice-migrant Koreans’ origins. Second, it examines their socioeconomic characteristics. Finally, and most significantly, this paper examines twice-migrant Koreans’ attachment to Korea. The combined 2006-2010 American Community Surveys were used as a major data source. There were more than 55,000 Korean immigrants in the U.S. born outside of Korea in 2008, which makes up about 6% of all Korean immigrants. Eighty-two percent of them originated from Asian countries. Twice-migrant Koreans are found to have substantially lower educational level and lower individual incomes than direct migrants from Korea, but the differences among different twice-migrant subgroups are significant. All twice-migrant subgroups, but those from China, have preserved the Korean language in low proportions. Moreover, they, including even twice-migrant Koreans from China, have lower levels of psychological attachment to Korea. Only twice-migrant Koreans from non-Asian countries, mostly from Europe and South America, have a very high level of attachment to Korea, measured by their acceptance of Korea as their ancestral homeland. The majority of them are presumed to be second-generation Koreans whose parents immigrated to their settlement countries in the post-1965 era.    

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