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It has become evident in recent years that Chinese American youths enroll in colleges and graduate with bachelor and master degrees in disproportionate numbers. Census reported that the number of Chinese-owned firms grew by 286 percent, and from 1987 to 1997, that number again grew at a rate of 180 percent.
While many college graduates may have an easier time gaining labor market entry, however, they often encounter a greater probability of being blocked by a glass ceiling as they move up into managerial and executive positions. Since the 1970s, unprecedented Chinese immigration, accompanied by the tremendous influx of human and financial capital, has set off a new stage of ethnic economic development. Chinese-American owned business enterprises made up 9 percent of the total minority-owned business enterprises nation-wide, but 19 percent of the total gross receipts, according to the 1997 Economic Census.
However, recent residential movements of Chinese Americans into ethnically concentrated suburban communities have tipped the balance of power, raising nativist anxiety of ethnic "invasion" and anti-immigrant sentiment.
That dropped steadily over time, but males still outnumbered females by more than 2:1 by the 1940s.
In much of the pre-World War II era, the Chinese American community was essentially an isolated bachelors' society consisting of a small merchant class and a vast working class of sojourners (temporary immigrants who intended to return home after making money working in the U. After the 1950s, when hundreds of refugees and their families fled Communist China and arrived in the U. and particularly since the enactment of the 1965 Hart-Cellar Act, the ethnic community has experienced unprecedented demographic and social transformation from a bachelors' society to a family community.
Among cities with populations over 100,000, New York City (365,000), San Francisco (161,000), Los Angeles (74,000), Honolulu (69,000), and San Jose (58,000) have the largest numbers of Chinese Americans.
Traditional urban enclaves, such as Chinatowns in San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Boston, continue to exist and to receive new immigrants, but they no longer serve as primary centers of initial settlement.