Nepalese in America – Job, Income & Lifestyle

America has always been a dream destination for immigrants who are inspired by the opportunities available there. Throughout history, America has always attracted immigrants with its freedom, income, and opportunities. It’s no surprise, then, that every year thousands of Nepalese people move to the US for starting a better life.

Whatever your dreams or priority are or any kind of career you want to make, the US is a fantastic ex-pat destination, for a permanent move to settle down, or just to spend a year or two exploring somewhere new.

The US is the country with the largest economy and with a high rate of job opportunities. There is a high rate of infrastructural and technological development. And most of the world’s top companies are from the US. The US leads the world in every field of development and possesses the highest rate of job opportunities for people.

Companies such as Microsoft, Google, Apple, Intel, Amazon, Facebook, etc are US-based companies and getting jobs in any of these companies is like having the most reputed jobs for Nepalese or any person of the world.

Everyone is attracted to the United States of America seeing the fame and lifestyle of America. People are hypnotized by the concept of American dreams and the freedom of living a free life. Social security and high earnings are also the main factors for the attraction of the people of the world to the US. And a person from a developing country like Nepal would not miss the opportunity to move to the US or just to visit it once.

We know the conversion rate of money is very high for US dollars in comparison to Nepalese Rupees. So we might have curiosity and would have wanted to know how much an average Nepali would earn in the United States.

For that we have crafted this detailed article to let you know, how much money do Nepalese make in the US? And what kind of jobs do they get? What are the expenditure and the cost of living for an average Nepali person living in the United States of America?


What kinds of jobs do Nepalese get in America?

Every year thousands of Nepalese move to the US through Diversity Visa (DV) lottery and also with the help of a student visa. Most DV winner Nepalese settle in the US by acquiring a Green card from US. Similarly, Nepalese student also acquires Green card by some means as they want to settle down in the USA too.

While living in the US, Nepalese people mostly get jobs to work in shopping malls, Nepalese/Indian owned shops, grocery stores, trade center, gas stations, housekeeper, maid, as a babysitter, etc. Mostly the jobs offered to Nepalese people are blue-collar jobs. Blue-collar jobs are jobs such as gas station attendants, waiters, etc.

Due to the low literacy rate of Nepalese people, the chances of getting a white-collar job is very low as compared to other Asian country’s people or Americans. The profession such as IT professors, lawyers, doctors, engineers, etc are termed as white-collar jobs in America.

As we know the value of money is 10 times more than that of Nepal, so even though there may be low earning jobs for Nepalese people, they like to go to the United States as an even lesser amount of income in the US is more than the salary of reputed Job holders in Nepal. So this attracts most of the Nepalese to leave Nepal and to live in the United States of America.

If you’re dreaming of a new life in America, you’re not alone. Many people from the world become the legal residents of the US every year. As America is a large country with such a massive range of places to choose to live and work, you’ll find thriving ex-pat communities in every corner of the country.

Related:  How many Nepali students are in the US?

What is the population of Nepalese living in poverty in America?

Normally, we may assume that the US is the most developed country and no American may be poor or might not be even near to the poverty line. But that is not the case, there are 15.1% of the total American population living below the poverty line.

And the percentage of Nepalese population living below the poverty line is 23.9% of all Nepalese population in the US. 18.7% of US-born Nepalese population out of all Nepalese populations are under the poverty line. Whereas, 24.6% of foreign-born Nepalese out of total Nepalese population is under the poverty line.

Here is detailed data of the Nepalese American population living in poverty in the US. The data provided is compared with all Americans population, all Asian and foreign-born and US-born Nepalese. Here is a table to show the % of a different group of the population living in poverty in the US:

Group All Americans All Asians All Nepalese
All 15.1% 12.1% 23.9%
The US-born 14.7% 11.2% 18.7%
Foreign-born 17.8% 12.8% 24.6%
Source: Pew Research Center analysis of the 2013-2015 American Community Survey (IPUMS).

Economy of Nepalese in America

The median annual household income of Nepalese in the US is $43,500 which is very much less in comparison to all other Asians in the US. The median annual household income of all Asians in the US is $73,060. And the median annual personal earnings of Nepalese in the US are $20,000 whereas of all Asians in the US is $35,600.

The unemployment rate of Nepalese Americans is 8.9% in the US. Most of the Nepalese live in rented houses which is about 76% and only 24% of Nepalese American have own houses. In comparison to all Asians, all Asians have 43% of the population living in rented houses whereas 57% have own houses in the US.

Per capita income of Nepalese Americans in the US is one of the lowest-earning ethnic groups. According to the data of Factfinder census in 2014, when Americans per capita income was divided by ethnic groups, Nepali Americans were revealed to be the lowest-earning ethnic group per capita in the US. The per capita income of Nepalese Americans was $17,839 which was very much below the American average of $25,825.

In the US from Asian countries, four groups have household incomes well below the median household income for all Americans. That includes Nepalese households along with Bangladeshi, Hmong, and Burmese. The income of Bangladeshi households is $49,800, Hmong is $48,000, Nepalese is $43,500 and Burmese is $36,000.

Source: Pew Research Center analysis of the 2013-2015 American Community Survey (IPUMS).

 Related: Nepalese American: Facts and Statistics 

What are the average salaries in America?

The salaries shown for reference here are the median wages of Americans. Tech and finance roles are the most demanded and highest paid jobs in the US. Here we have summed up a few popular jobs that Nepalese people have in the US and their average annual salaries. Many of Nepalese also do labor jobs in the US in construction works, paint labor, etc.

Average Salary of different Jobs in America


Profession Average Annual Salary
Gas station attendant $20,820
Waiters and Waitresses $20,820
Hairdresser $27,940
Restaurant Cook $24,430
Bartender $24,110
Babysitter $16 per hour
Cashier $25,790
Financial Analyst $83,559
Graphic Designer $52,253
Mobile Developer $79,717
Receptionist $34,635
Software Engineer $93,139
Teacher $50,516
Copywriter $60,405
Web Developer $75,172
Labors $44,000

Nepalese people in the United States also tend to do business on a small scale rather than the jobs. Many Nepalese people have opened small shops and grocery stores in the US. Mostly the households which have two earning people reside, they choose to do small business and one of them carries on doing the job.

How expensive is housing and accommodation in the USA?

As we have seen almost more than 70% of Nepalese in the US live in rented houses. This shows that most of the earning of Nepalese Americans get spent on paying house rent. The amount that is paid as a house rent is a big driver of the overall cost of living in America. Big cities like San Francisco, New York, etc have some of the most expensive rents in the world. So, it is obvious that an average Nepali person cannot have such a huge budget for temporary accommodation. Therefore most of the Nepalese Americans rent houses in a smaller city or town in the US.

Normally, the accommodation cost in big cities like New York City and San Francisco, the rental cost is around $1,100 per month and around $13,200 per year for a single person. There are many other things that need to be paid from the salary of a person like electricity bills, internet bills, etc. So there is very much less to save from salary in the US as the cost of living is high as much as the living standards.

If you’re temporarily relocating or moving to the US only for some time interval, it’s helpful to have a picture of what life there will cost as an ex-pat. As life in the US is pretty much pricey. And the most expensive cities in the US include San Francisco, New York, Boston, and Los Angeles. However, still, there are some well-known places where you can relocate to spend life expenses at a reasonable price. Some cities and towns in the US where there are much lower average costs than other larger cities are Oklahoma City, Cincinnati, Kentucky, etc.

What is the estimated cost of living for Nepalese in America?

As we have already discussed the income that Nepalese earn as a salary in the US. Now, if we want to know the money that Nepalese make in America so that they can send some sort of income to the family living back in Nepal, we need to calculate the expenses also.

It is a well-known fact that the living costs of the US are too much higher than in Nepal. And it is because the living standards of people in the US are also high. The US has a high cost of health services. So if people are not covered by health insurance, it can be really expensive for Nepalese people to get better health services in the US.

The cost of living for Nepalese or any American in the US is nearly the same. But, usually Nepalese know how to save more money so that they can live some of their dreams and save for a better future of their children. Mostly the expenses of Nepalese American in the US is for rental fees, insurance, EMI, etc. Here we have collected some of the Nepalese American expenses that can be estimated from the reports. The items and their monthly costs are written below:

Item Monthly Estimated Costs
Accommodations $600
Electricity $100
Groceries (Home Cooked meal) $150
International Calling Card $20
Home Internet $40
Cell Phone $50
Restaurant meals $100
Entertainment/Weekend activities $100
Car Insurance $100
Gas for car $75
Shopping $200
Total $1535
Note: These amounts will differ from state to state within the US.

 The living expenses or living cost of Nepalese in the US is estimated to be around $15,000 to $25,000 per year, which averages around $15,00 to $20,00 per month. This includes accommodation costs, food, room and board, travel, weather-appropriate clothing, and entertainment expenses as well. The cost of living in rented houses can be minimized by sharing houses with other people. It can split the rent cost, electricity, and many other expenses into half.

From both the income and expenditure of Nepalese people living in the US, we can assume savings of different sorts of Nepalese people in the United States. An average single Nepali person living in the US can save up to $5,000 to $7,000 yearly in the US.

And the normal median Nepalese household with two people earning can save up to $7,000 to $10,000 in the US. There can be more expenses in the household if the number of jobholders is less than that of the number of people in the house. Similarly, savings will also be less in those cases.

Lifestyle and personal habits are a very important factor in doing savings. Some people might spend money on smoke and some for drinking alcohol, etc. This will have a direct effect on the monthly expenditure and will change it significantly. There may be some people who like to live luxuriously by traveling more in cars or which can spend more money on buying gas.

And some may like to buy good clothes, go shopping, etc. The point is the lifestyle and habits will have a great impact on how much money you will save from your salary in the US. As we know the lifestyle and habits can increase or decrease expenses a lot depending upon person to person.

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