It began innocently enough – our staff began to notice an unusual trend in gifting. Gifting can be an odd business anyway, but here was a puzzle that seemed to defy explanation. While the full spectrum of religions, races and ethnicities use our gifting service, we were being flooded by Indian-Americans gifters.
They are simply way over-represented given their demographics and the more we dived into the issue, the more unusual this group appeared. For a start, 5% of our customers are Indian, while they represent only 0.6% of the general US population. This begs the question, why are Indians more prolific gifters?
Jifiti.com did some digging to try to understand this phenomenon. Indians represent the second largest immigrant population after Mexicans at nearly 5% of all immigrants. As of 2013, there were nearly 2 million Indian-Americans. The number of Indian immigrants has nearly doubled each year since the beginning of the century.
A closer look shows that the Indian-American community is not just growing, it is exceptional. It defies all stereotypes of immigrants and highlights how valuable they are as contributors to America in general.
- Indians receive 70% of all H-1B Visas (issued to highly-skilled laborers)
- 80% of Indian immigrants have college degrees – 10 times the rate of other immigrant populations and 2.5 times the US rate
- Median income is $88,000 per year, double that of the average US household
- 75% of Jifiti’s Indian users have LinkedIn profiles, compared with 30% of the general population
While these facts are startling, they still do not fully explain the Indian-American gifting phenomenon. A survey which ranked “morals and values” among immigrants provided the final piece of the puzzle. Indians stood out, beyond other immigrants and beyond Americans, in the value they placed on a strong marriage and good parenting. These two measures of character seem to be directly linked to their gifting habits. Perhaps people who care more about family, who value the strength of their relationships above all else, naturally tend to send gifts more readily. While gifting may seem like a small gesture to some, the traditions that lie at the heart of Indian culture mean gifting is, even more so, an expression of immense care. It’s interesting to note that half of gifts given by Indian-Americans are for traditional Indian life-cycle events and half are for traditional US events. Additionally, half are gifting to non-Indian recipients and half are receiving from non-Indian gifters. Clearly, Indians who have immigrated to America have not only thrived in their new country but have readily merged into the general population while maintaining their traditions and heritage. This massive incoming population of educated, hard-working, principled, and generous people are a credit to their homeland and enrich their adopted home.