Since the Indian restaurant next door to my apartment went out of business, I’ve been coming home to find unclaimed stacks of Little India magazine strewn all over the sidewalk. While stepping over a copy the other day, I noticed the cover story: “Only U.S. Town with an Indian Majority.” Naturally, I was curious. Where is this town? In the Bay Area? Jersey? Or is it in the great state that brought us weather-forecasting groundhogs and chipped ham? (The answer is #3.)
Millbourne is a tiny Pennsylvania borough with an estimated population of 994. At the time of the 2000 Census, Indian-Americans constituted 40% of its population; current “Little India projections” bring that number up to 63%, compared with a national average of less than 0.6%.
The 2000 Census outlines the broad contours of Millbourne’s Indian community. The gender breakdown is about even: 53 percent to 47 percent women. Five percent are mixed race. The median age of the Indian community is 32. Only 13 percent of the Indians are native-born. Almost two-thirds migrated to the United States within the previous decade. Like the other residents of the city, Indians in Millbourne are principally blue collar. The median household income for the 102 Indian households in the borough was $36,000, higher than the borough average, but substantially below the national median Indian household income of $64,000. However, only 7 percent of the Millbourne Indians were below the poverty line, as opposed to 9 percent of Indians nationally. Just 10 percent of Indians in the borough owned their home, which is less than a quarter of the home ownership rate among Indian Americans nationwide.