LOS ANGELES — Asian Americans continue to be the country’s fastest growing racial group, now numbering 21.4 million nationwide, according to population estimates released Wednesday by the U.S. Census Bureau.
In the six years following the 2010 Census, the country’s Asian American population grew 21%; in contrast, the nation’s total population grew less than 5% over the same period. The country added 3.7 million Asian Americans between 2010 and 2016 and 629,813 between 2015 and 2016 alone, Asian Americans Advancing Justice LA cited the U.S. Census statistics.
Immigration, particularly family-based immigration, continues to be a major driver of Asian American growth. Approximately 65% of the Asian American population growth nationwide between 2010 and 2016 was attributable to immigration; in contrast, 23% of Latino population growth over the same period was due to immigration, . According to the U.S. State Department, over 87% of immigrant visas issued in 2016 to those from Asia were issued to the immediate relatives of U.S. citizens or under family-based preferences.
“Immigration continues to be a critical issue to Asian Americans”, said Stewart Kwoh, President and Executive Director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles. “It strengthens families and is the driving force behind the many contributions our communities make to this country.”
According to the new data, Asian American populations are growing both in traditional hubs like California, Texas, and New York and in states with emerging communities, like North Dakota, South Dakota, and Iowa. Between 2010 and 2016, California (+904,589), Texas (+401,081), New York (+298,308), Washington (+163,864), and Florida (+147,819) saw the greatest numeric increases in Asian American population. Over the same period, Asian American populations grew fastest in North Dakota (+63.10%), South Dakota (+58.02%), Iowa (+42.82%), Nebraska (+39.83%), and Indiana (+39.00%).
“We already knew our communities were growing outside California, New York, and Hawai’i”, said Daniel Ichinose, Director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles’ Demographic Research Project and head of its Census Information Center (CIC).
“While the 2000s brought Asian American population growth to places like Nevada, Arizona, and North Carolina, the 2010s are bringing new growth to the heartland of America.”
The data, ‘Detailed Population Estimates by Age, Sex, Race and Hispanic Origin’, can be accessed from the U.S. Census Bureau at www.census.gov.