Penn Calendar Penn A-Z School of Arts and Sciences University of Pennsylvania

The Other One Percent: Indians in America

Sanjoy Chakravorty, Devesh Kapur, Nirvikar Singh

Named a 2017 Choice Outstanding Academic Title!

People of Indian origin—whether they are Indian-born or American-born—make up about 1% of the American population.  While there are several anecdotal and journalistic accounts of Indians in America as well as scholarly studies on specific sub-groups of the population, The Other One Percent is the first data-driven comprehensive account of the community. The book focuses on three major issues: Selection—the processes by which people from a poor, developing nation have become the highest-income and most-educated group in the most advanced nation; Assimilation—the multiple pathways and challenges of becoming American while maintaining some aspects of their distinctive identities while shedding others, for both the first and the second generation; and Entrepreneurship—the narratives and niches of archetypal American success, from motels to medicine and finance to technology. Analytical yet with a keen eye for the telling anecdote, critical yet empathetic, and enriched by insights from different academic disciplines, the study looks at the entire community, ranging from its successful and very visible to its marginal and almost invisible members.


PRESS RELEASE - Oxford University Press

Order online through Oxford Univeristy Press, Amazon, or Barnes & Noble

“No political issue is hotter than immigration. And no immigrant group has been more successful than Indians in the United States. This landmark work is the first comprehensive study of the Indian immigrant experience. It deserves close attention from all those concerned not just with the future of Indian communities but with America’s future.”


“In the last half-century, Americans of Indian descent epitomize how new waves of immigrants have been renewing our communities and our economy. The Other One Percent adopts a wide-ranging, data-based approach to understanding the fascinating rise of the Indian-American community in the United States. This insightful volume holds valuable lessons for rethinking immigration in the decades to come.”


“In The Other One Percent, we get a full, first-ever picture of Indian-Americans, who have recently become among the largest nationality group of new immigrants to the U.S. and are also the most successful by many measures, including education, income and entrepreneurship. To understand how smart, updated immigration policies can harness the advantages of immigration for the U.S. today and into the future, this book offers a compelling case-in-point and call-to-action for Congress.”


The Other One Percent is a methodologically sophisticated, interdisciplinary treatment of the Indian Diaspora. It combines scrupulous regard for data, with a deep historical insight, and sociological imagination to produce a deeply engrossing work. It provides a riveting and textured portrait of the Indian diaspora, its formation, its political preferences, its social and economic base. The book will unsettle many entrenched assumptions and open up a large research agenda.”


Book Events


June 16, 2017
6:30 p.m. (EST)
Book Talk: The Other One Percent: Indians in America
with co-author Devesh Kapur
Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO-CT)
Stamford, CT

April 27, 2017
5:30 to 7:00 p.m. (EST)
Book Talk: The Other One Percent: Indians in America
with co-author Devesh Kapur
and Santhana Krishnan & Dr. Venkat Srinivasan
Center for Emerging Markets, D’Amore McKim School of Business, Northeastern University
Boston, MA

April 24, 2017
5:00 to 6:30 p.m. (EST)
Book Talk: The Other One Percent: Indians in America
with co-author Devesh Kapur
Richard Wright, Dartmouth College
Prema Kurien, Syracuse University
John Logan, Brown University 
at the Center for Contemporary South Asia, Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs, Brown University
Providence, RI

February 21, 2017
12:30 p.m. (EST)
“International Migration: Learning from the ‘Other One Percent’”
with co-author Devesh Kapur
Kellogg Institute for International Studies
University of Notre Dame
South Bend, IN

February 13, 2017
Reception - 6:00 p.m. 
Lecture - 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.
"The Other One Percent: Indians in America"
Book talk with co-author, Devesh Kapur
Columbia University, School of International and Public Affairs
Deepak and Neera Raj Center for Indian Economic Policies
New York, NY

February 8, 2017
12 noon to 1:30 p.m. (EST)
Book talk with co-authors, Sanjoy Chakravorty & Devesh Kapur
821 Anderson Hall (Women's Studies Lounge), Temple University
Philadelphia, PA

February 6, 2017
4:00 p.m. (PST)
Book talk with co-author Devesh Kapur
Interdisciplinary Humanities Center
Santa Barbara, CA

February 1, 2017
12 noon to 1:30 p.m. (PST)
CCPR Seminar with co-author Devesh Kapur
California Center for Population Research (CCPR) at UCLA
Los Angeles, CA

January 17, 2017
India Book Launch
Co-author Devesh Kapur in conversation with Pratap Bhanu Mehta (President & Chief Executive, CPR)
Centre for Policy Research (CPR)
New Delhi, India


December 1, 2016
with Ashley J. Tellis, Milan Vaishnav, Devesh Kapur, Sanjoy Chakravorty, Sonal Shah
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Washington, DC

November 18, 2016
Sponsored by TiE Silicon Valley in collaboration
with the India Community Center (ICC)
Santa Clara, CA

November 1, 2016

Book Talk with Authors
World Forum, Perry World House
University of Pennsylvania
3803 Locust Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104

October 20, 2016

A CASI Nand & Jeet Khemka Distinguished Lecture
with Co-Authors, Sanjoy Chakravorty & Devesh Kapur
Nikhil Deogun (Editor-in-Chief & SVP, CNBC Business News)
New York, NY


Media Coverage

"The Indian Prime Minister and Trump Addressed a Houston Rally. Who Was Signaling What?" Devesh Kapur. The Washington Post, September 29, 2019

"The Past, Present, and Future of Human Migration," Abigail Meisel. Omnia, June 1, 2017

"America's Other One Percent," Jacquie Posey. Omnia, May 23, 2017

"Inaugural Lecture Series Examines ‘Indians in America’," Molly Callahan. News@Northeastern, May 1, 2017

"Srinivas Kuchibhotla Murder: Why Modi’s Nationalism No Longer Works for Indian-Americans," Rohan D’Souza. Hindustan Times, March 15, 2017

"The Other One Percent Review — Selected for Success," James Crabtree. Financial Times, December 16, 2016

"The Other One Percent (interview)," Scott Jaschik. Inside Higher Ed, December 15, 2016

"More Liberal Than All Other Asian Americans," Varghese George. The Hindu, December 11, 2016

"All Come to Look for America," Patrick French. The Indian Express, December 10, 2016

"How Indians Triumphed in America," The Economist, November 26, 2016

"Indian Diaspora Among Most Democrat-Leaning of Immigrant Groups," Aditi Phadnis. Business Standard, November 6, 2016

"Donald Trump in Bollywood," Vikas Bajaj, The New York Times, October 28, 2016

"Penn’s Devesh Kapur Co-authors Book on Success of America’s ‘Other One-Percenters’," Jaquie Posey, Penn News, October 27, 2016

"Book explores growth, success of America's Indian population," Jacquie Posey, Penn Current, October 27, 2016

"Indians in US Most Educated, Highest Earning of All Immigrants: Scholar," Prashant Jha, Hindustan Times, October 20, 2016

"Why Indian-Americans Are Likely to be a Shoo-In for the Democrats," Samanth Subramanian, The National, October 18, 2016


Related Publications

"Remittances and Rashomon," Randall Akee and Devesh Kapur. Working Paper 285, Center for Global Development. January 24, 2012



Research Affiliates

Nirvikar Singh

Professor, Director, Center for Analytical Finance, 

Sarbjit Singh Aurora Chair in Sikh and Punjabi Studies

University of California, Santa Cruz


Sanjoy Chakravorty

CASI Non-Resident Visiting Scholar

Professor, Department of Geography and Urban Studies

Temple University


Project Funding

Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA), Government of India

Press Release

UPenn Gets $2 Million Grant From Indian Gov't, India West, February 26, 2010