U.S. Census 2000: A Profile of the Asian Population

Census 2000

The U.S. Asian population is not homogeneous, consisting of at least 30 various ethnic groups. Their numbers are also booming, as provided by the latest Census Bureau data. According to the Census 2000, the Asian American population, when including those who categorized themselves as "Asian and 1 or more other races," increased by 72.2%. Breaking down figures by state, the percentages were even more dramatic; the southern and Midwestern regions contributed some of the most surprising increases. Arkansas reported a 110% swell in Asian numbers, and other states, such as Nevada, South Dakota, Arizona and Idaho followed suit, each exceeding the 100% increase mark. Sustained immigration rates have contributed significantly to the Asian American population rise. The U.S. will be further augmented by Eastern and Southern Asians (e.g. Thais, Vietnamese, Indians, and Pakistanis) due to the immigration influx. However, many Asians have been established in the United States for 3 generations or more. One of these groups is the Chinese Americans, who make up the largest Asian ethnic subgroup, at 2.4 million. The Chinese increased by 48%, another major leap in the Census 2000 findings. Filipinos followed as the second largest group with 1.8 million.

Other changes in the Asian demographic landscape came from immigrating Indians. Approximately 1.7 million reside in the United States, and they are now the dominant Asian group in 19 states. While still behind Filipinos in numbers, Asian Indians are projected to exceed that number within the next decade. Attracted by career and entrepreneurial prospects in the United States, particularly in the "high-tech" concentrated areas of Texas and California, a surge in Asian Indians has not gone unnoticed. But the East and West coasts' urban centers are not the only magnets for Indian communities. Many southern states (Alabama, Tennessee, West Virginia, Florida, and Georgia, most notably) reported Indians as their dominant Asian group.

The Vietnamese population recorded the second highest growth at 82.7%. On the other hand, of the major Asian American groups, the Japanese American population recorded a decline in numbers by about 6%. This has been attributed to the aging of the population, decreased immigration and increased inter-racial marriages.

All Asian groups in the Census 2000 had impressive growth between 1990 and 2000, except for the Japanese. In all likelihood, Asian Americans will wield more economic, social and political influence into the 21st century as they expand.

Source: Census 2000



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