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About 21 Million Asian Americans Live in the U.S., New Census Estimates

ByGeorge Bao

Jul 1, 2016

Asian American population is the fastest growing racial group in America


By George Bao   June 28, 2016


LOS ANGELES – The Asian American population is the fastest growing racial group in the United States, with 21 million Asian Americans living in the country, according to a new population analysis released Tuesday by the Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Los Angeles.

Based on the new U.S. Census Bureau population estimates released on Thursday, June 23, the Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Los Angeles made analysis of the data which shows that between 2010 and 2015, the number of Asian Americans grew 19%; during this same time period total overall population growth was only 4%.

There are now about 21 million Asian Americans living in the United States. Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders (NHPI) are now the second fastest growing racial group, growing 13% to 1.5 million.

The new mid-decade Census data show that while certain states like California, Texas, New York, Washington, and New Jersey continue to have large Asian American populations, other states such as North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Montana and Indiana have some of the fastest growing Asian American populations.

Asian American population growth also continues to outpace growth among other racial groups. For example, Asian American numeric growth exceeded that of Latinos in four states – Minnesota, Michigan, Vermont, and Washington, according to the analysis.

While the largest NHPI populations continue to grow in Hawai’i and California, the NHPI community in Arkansas remains one of the fastest growing. Over the past five years, the NHPI population in Arkansas has increased 30% to over 11,000.

“Asian Americans and NHPI live in every state in the nation,” said Stewart Kwoh, executive director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Los Angeles. “It is important that local social service providers build the capacity to serve these emerging communities.”

According to the Census Bureau, much of the growth among the Asian American population is due to net migration, while other racial groups are experiencing natural population growth.

“Asian Americans are a disproportionately immigrant community, comprised of over 30 distinct ethnic groups, while NHPI have over 20 ethnic groups under their umbrella,” said Joanna Lee, senior research analyst for Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Los Angeles.

“Understanding the incredible social and economic diversity of these growing population groups is critical in understanding how best to address their needs,” Lee added.


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