By: Anishi Patel

It is not shocking news that a significant wage gap in the U.S. exists and likely will persist. On average, women earn less than men, and men of color earn less than white men, but there is one group that often falls off the radar when we consider the wage gap: Asian men. According to a 2016 Pew Research Report, Asian men earn 117% as much as white men, making them the top median hourly earners in the U.S.. Asian women, for their part, earned a median of $18 an hour, narrowly topping white women’s $17 median earnings.

These findings prove the progress women in general have made in lessening the wage gap, and also that work remains to be done, since there is still a $6 wage gap between Asian women’s median hourly earnings and Asian men’s, and a $4 gap between white women and white men. (Note: both women and men of Hispanic and black backgrounds, for a variety of reasons stemming from educational opportunities to oppression, earned significantly lower median hourly pay.)

I’ll admit, the Pew Research Center’s findings regarding Asian men surprised me. Previously, when I heard about the wage gap, I assumed white men were the country’s top earners and accepted that this was the situation. It never occured to me that other ethnic groups could make such rapid progress in a predominantly eurocentric society, but here we are.

A NextShark article describes possible reasons for Asians coming out on top of the wage gap: high rates of college education and data indicating Asians do well with saving money combine to support projections that Asians may be America’s next wealthiest racial group.

These predictions got me thinking — if Asians, on average, are able to do so well for themselves in the U.S., what do some of the wealthiest Asian countries and cities look like? Where around the world are Asians’ crowning jewels, our very own hotspots of wealth and culture and progress? Perhaps a question that I, as a young Asian-American women, should have asked much earlier, but cut my narcissistic American self some slack.

My new interest took me first to the island/city-state of Singapore, because let’s be honest, we all read Crazy Rich Asians. Singaporeans enjoy a high standard of living, and the “most expensive city in the world,” as as the Economist Intelligence Unit ranks it, is a prime example of Asian excellence. Despite its own large wage gap and extortionate property rental prices, Singapore boasts residents of diverse ethnicities (its four official languages are English, Chinese, Malay, and Tamil), exceptional shopping, and astounding flora and fauna (nearly 50% of the island is greenery!). Most remarkably, the city state has plans to grow to nearly double the island’s original size by 2030, through land-filling processes that have already created spaces like Marina Bay.

According to National Geographic, Singapore’s vision for sustainability and livability comes from Cheong Koon Hean, the first woman to lead Singapore’s urban development agency. Cheong describes Singapore’s commitment to livable density as merging convenience and building with parks and recreational facilities.

While Singapore is definitely the greenest jewel in the Asian worldwide crown, other wealthy locations of Asian concentration also never cease to amaze. Macau SAR, an autonomous region in East Asia, is the richest country in Asia by GDP, according to, as well as being the most densely populated region on Earth. The region has a thriving tourist economy and boosts international trade for the area. The second-richest nation in Asia is Qatar, a country located on the Arabian Peninsula’s northeastern coast. Qatar’s economy, which is based on on petrol and natural gas exports, is slowly looking to ease dependency on oil. Hong Kong is Asia’s fourth-richest nation, following Singapore at third, and is one of the world’s top international financial centers.

Finally, we have our very own Bay Area, California. The U.S.’s Asian-American population has grown faster than any other ethnic group over the last two decades, and the Bay Area is a prime example. Silicon Valley’s numerous tech jobs attract Asian immigrants, whose children are competitive in school and gravitate toward engineering jobs. Now, as reported in a recent study published by The Guardian, if it were its own country, Silicon Valley, a hotbed of Asian culture and success, would be one of the wealthiest in the world.

Anishi Patel is a junior at Saratoga High School with a passion for creative writing. Her work has been recognized by the Scholastic Art and Writing awards and is in or forthcoming in Skipping Stones Magazine, The Blue Marble Review, and 805 Lit, among others. Anishi will be an Editor-in-Chief for the Saratoga Falcon during the 2019-20 school year, and she is also an editor for her school’s literary magazine, Soundings, and the Siblíní Journal.

Instagram: @anishi.patel


  • Hey! I know this is kinda off topic but I’d figured I’d ask.
    Would you be interested in exchanging links or maybe guest authoring a blog article or vice-versa?
    My site goes over a lot of the same topics as yours and I
    feel we could greatly benefit from each other.
    If you happen to be interested feel free to send me an e-mail.
    I look forward to hearing from you! Awesome blog by the way!

  • We are a group of volunteers and starting a new scheme in our community.

    Your web site offered us with valuable info to work
    on. You’ve done an impressive job and our whole community will be thankful to you.

  • My brother suggested I might like this web site. He used
    to be totally right. This put up actually made my day.
    You can not believe just how much time I had spent for this info!
    Thank you!

  • Great goods from you, man. I’ve understand your stuff previous to and you
    are just too fantastic. I actually like what you
    have acquired here, certainly like what you’re saying
    and the way in which you say it. You make it enjoyable and you
    still take care of to keep it wise. I cant wait to read much more from you.
    This is really a terrific website.

  • I have been exploring for a little for any high quality articles or weblog posts in this kind of house .
    Exploring in Yahoo I ultimately stumbled upon this site.
    Reading this info So i am happy to show that I’ve an incredibly
    excellent uncanny feeling I discovered just what I needed.
    I so much unquestionably will make sure to do not overlook this web site and give it a look on a constant basis.

  • Cool blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it from somewhere?
    A design like yours with a few simple adjustements would
    really make my blog jump out. Please let me know where you got
    your design. Cheers

  • Hey, I think your blog might be having browser compatibility issues.
    When I look at your blog site in Chrome, it
    looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping.
    I just wanted to give you a quick heads up!
    Other then that, superb blog!

  • says:

    It’s a pity you don’t have a donate button! I’d most certainly donate to this excellent
    blog! I guess for now i’ll settle for book-marking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account.
    I look forward to brand new updates and will share this site with my Facebook group.
    Talk soon!

  • This info is invaluable. Where can I find out more?

  • At this time I am going to do my breakfast, later than having my breakfast coming over again to read other news.

  • Like!! I blog quite often and I genuinely thank you for your information. The article has truly peaked my interest.

  • I am genuinely thankful to the holder of this website who has
    shared this enormous article at at this place.

Leave a Reply