refers to a minority
whose members achieve a higher degree of
than the population
. It is most commonly used to label one ethnic minority higher
achieving than another ethnic minority. This success is typically measured in
, and related factors such as low
, the term is associated with
, primarily Chinese, Indian, Japanese, and Korean Americans, and to a lesser extent, Vietnamese Americans.
A common misconception is that the affected communities usually hold pride in their labeling as the model minority. Statistics are often cited to back up their model minority status such as high educational
achievement, overrepresentation at
and other prestigious universities, and a high percentage of Asian Americans working in white collar professions (jobs such as medicine, investment banking,
management consulting, finance, engineering, and law).
The model minority stereotype is considered detrimental to the Asian Pacific American (APA) community, and it is used to justify the exclusion of needy APA communities in the distribution of assistance
programs, public and private, and understate or slight the achievements of APA individuals. Communities that are especially affected are South East Asian communities, e.g. Cambodian-American, the Hmong
and the Pacific Islander community, e.g. persons with origins in Guam and Micronesia; these communities have much lower education rates and higher poverty rates. The model minority myth relies on the
aggregation of success indicators, hiding the plight of recent first-generation immigrants under the high success rate of more established Asian communities.