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Asians tops in US in growth of population

By HENG WEILI in New York | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2021-05-03 10:58

People walk past a flower bed planted in tulips in the Manhattan borough of New York City on April 28, 2021. [Photo/Agencies]

California, Texas and New York saw the most overall growth in their Asian populations between 2000 and 2019, but two states in the US hinterlands — North and South Dakota — saw the largest percentage increase.

The numbers came from a Pew Research Center analysis of preliminary US Census Bureau population estimates released Thursday.

The center, based in Washington DC, describes itself as a "nonpartisan fact tank". The Census Bureau will gradually release its 2020 census details over the next several months.

In its methodology, Pew counted as Asian Americans people who report their race to be Asian or any specific Asian group, such as Chinese, Indian, Japanese and Korean. Those who self-identify as Pacific Islanders were counted separately.

California by far had the largest Asian population among US states with 6.7 million, followed by New York (1.9 million); Texas (1.6 million); New Jersey (958,000); and Washington state (852,000). Fifty-five percent of Asians in the US live in the above five states.

But in percentage-growth rates, North Dakota and South Dakota saw the fastest increases in their Asian populations between 2000 and 2019, with the numbers tripling in both states. North Dakota's Asian population has soared by 241 percent since 2000, and in South Dakota by 202 percent.

Other states with significant growth in their Asian populations were Indiana, Nevada and North Carolina — by 183 percent, 176 percent and 175 percent, respectively.

The number of Chinese restaurants in Fargo has nearly doubled over the last decade to at least 17, according to the Los Angeles Times, noting that cultural associations — for Chinese, Bhutanese and Filipino residents — also have begun to appear.

Local Chinese American professionals started the United Chinese Americans Fargo-Moorhead group five years ago. The association has organized cultural events, such as the annual Chinese New Year festival, volunteering at the city's summer air show and connecting American-born youth to Mandarin classes, the Times reported. The group often meets at Super Buffet, one of Fargo's oldest Chinese restaurants.

Nationally, Asian Americans were the fastest-growing population among all racial and ethnic groups in the US, increasing by 81 percent between 2000 and 2019.

The Asian population in the US was estimated to be 23.2 million in 2019, according to Pew, or 7 percent of the US population.

By 2060, the number of Asian Americans is projected to rise to 46 million. The Asian population has increased in every state and the District of Columbia over the past two decades.

In two states — New Jersey and Connecticut — Asians accounted for 83 percent of and 57 percent of total population growth, respectively, between 2000 and 2019.

Chinese Americans are the largest Asian-origin group in the US, making up 23 percent of the Asian population, or 5.4 million people. The next two largest origin groups are Indian Americans, who account for 20 percent of the total (4.6 million), and Filipinos, who comprise 18 percent (4.2 million).

Those countries of origin were followed by Vietnam (2.2 million), Korea (1.9 million) and Japan (1.5 million).

The growth of the Asian American population in the US comes amid incidents of racial attacks and violence against Asians since the start of the coronavirus outbreak.

In a Pew Research Center survey conducted in early March 2021 — before the fatal shooting of six Asian women and two other people at spas in the Atlanta area on March 16 — 87 percent of Asian Americans said they face discrimination.

As their numbers grow, Asian Americans are getting more involved in American politics.

Turnout among Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) voters soared nearly 46 percent in 2020 compared with 2016, according to new data released Thursday by the AAPI Victory Fund.

US overall voter turnout in 2020 rose 11.9 percent compared with 2016.

AAPI turnout rose the most in South Dakota, by nearly 120 percent. In the 48 states with voter history available, nearly 50 percent of AAPI voters who cast ballots in 2020 did not vote in 2016, and 23 percent of them were first-time voters.

Asian American voter turnout in the 2020 US presidential election reached an all-time high of 59.7 percent, according to the Census Bureau.

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