New Jersey is home to huge numbers of Indian-Americans.
There are pockets like Oak Tree Road and Newark Avenue in New Jersey where the only faces you’ll encounter are Indian mugs and the inviting aroma of curry assaults your nostrils.
Little India on Newark Ave, Jersey City
Indians have been pouring into New Jersey for over four decades now.
But their numbers have increased significantly over the last two decades and now approaches the 300,000 mark.
New Jersey has the third largest population of Asian-Indians, behind California and New York.
According to the 2010 Census, there were 292,256 Indians in New Jersey.
It’s no secret that Indians are the largest Asian immigrant group in New Jersey.
The first wave of Indian immigrants to New Jersey (from the 1960-1990) were primarily North Indians and Gujaratis.
However, the second wave of Indian immigrants, starting from 1990, comprised primarily of South Indian professionals who initially came on H1B Visas and then obtained Green Cards and citizenship.
Where are Indians in New Jersey?
While Indians are spread across New Jersey, their most significant presence is in Middlesex and Bergen Counties.
Little India on Oak Tree Road Edison / Iselin, NJ
There are 104,705 Indians in Middlesex County.
Prominent Indian hubs in New Jersey include Edison, Iselin, Jersey City and North Bergen.
Not all Indians in New Jersey are immigrants. A significant chunk of desis in New Jersey are U.S. born.
What Do NJ Indians Do?
There are three categories of Indian workers in New Jersey.
The first category comprises of professionals like Doctors, Engineers, Software Programmers, Immigration and H1B Attorneys, Scientists, University Professors and researchers. This category of Indians typically has a household income of over $125,000 per year. Often members of this elite group own two houses (one in New Jersey and a second home in India), drive luxury cards like BMW, Lexus and Mercedes Benz and vacation in hot spots of Europe, South America and Asia.
The second group of Indians comprises of businessmen. These are typically restaurateurs, owners of convenience stores like 7-11, Dunkin Donuts, gas stations, motels, fashion boutiques on Oak Tree Road, jewelers, travel agents and small contractors.
The last group of Indian workers in New Jersey is engaged in blue collar work such as restaurant waiters, housekeepers, gas station workers, or make coffee and bagels at fast food stores. Desis in this group typically come to the U.S. under family sponsorship.