Indians top area’s recent immigrants |

Indians top area’s recent immigrants

Fewer than 9,000 Indians live in metropolitan Pittsburgh, adding up to only about half a percent of the total population.

But because the nationwide wave of Hispanic immigration largely has passed Pittsburgh by, Indians can claim the title of the region’s largest immigrant group by default.

The large share of Indians in the regional mix of newcomers from abroad means that, unlike most cities, average immigrant incomes here are on par with what people who move here from elsewhere in the United States earn.

Prasad Potluri, 35, a programmer at Bayer Corp. since 1995, said the Indian predilection to work in computers or medicine makes for a supportive, albeit limited, career network.

The high-tech slump has hit Indians particularly hard, Potluri and others said, forcing some to leave, even move back home.

Partly as a fallback option, this summer Potluri opened a South Indian restaurant, Tamarind, in a shopping center in Scott.

The township is the area’s most popular South Asian neighborhood, with about 900 Indian residents. But there is a more visible monument east of the city.

Non-Hindus may not know much about the oddly pretty, white building overlooking the Parkway East, but the Sri Venkateswara Temple in Penn Hills, modeled after a sacred pilgrimage site in India, is for some people Pittsburgh’s top tourism destination.

“Any Indian living in the U.S. has visited this temple at least once, at least the South Indians,” Potluri said.

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