Malaysian Post : NEW YORK: The size of the population of Asian descent in the United States has surged 43% in the last decade, according to the latest census data released by the US government.
In absolute terms, the Asian population increased from 10.2 million in 2000 to about 14.7 million in 2010, census officials said.
Asians now account for about 5% of the nation’s total population.
Nicholas A Jones, chief of the racial statistics branch of the US Census Bureau, explained the growing size of the Asian population by saying that on an overall basis, the nation’s population had become “more racially and ethnically diverse over the past 10 years”.
Though the term “Asian” has a very broad connotation and can include anyone from Japan through China and Southeast Asia to the huge Indian subcontinent, the general consensus among experts here is that people of Indian and Chinese origin will gradually overtake the rest of Asians.
Another indicator of the growing size of people of Indian and Chinese origin is reflected in the fact that these two Asian groups, along with Filipinos, are among the highest recipients of US visas worldwide. Filipinos, thanks to their historic links as a former US enclave, were once among the
largest-waiting Asian group to get visas.
Their numbers are, however, expected to stagnate over the years, as Indians and Chinese overtake them in the coming years.
During the 2000 US Census, Asians comprised 3.6% of the total American population or, approximately, 10.2 million. The Census Bureau projects that the Asian population will grow to 37.6 million by the year 2050, comprising 9.3% of the population.
Asians are, generally, concentrated in the western states, the Northeast, and parts of the South. The states with the largest concentration of Asians are Hawaii, California, Washington, New Jersey and New York.
One of the most conspicuous results of this demographic shift is that major metropolitan cities such as New York, Washington and 44 of America’s 366 metro areas are no longer white or, to use the appropriate term, Caucasian dominated.
There has been an evolutionary change in these cities which have transformed themselves from majority white to majority populations of minorities during the last decade, according to the latest census data.
Experts attribute the demographic shift to a number of factors, including the relatively slow growth of the white population, the voluntary relocation of white population away from the metropolitan areas, and huge increase in minority populations, particularly Hispanic and Asians.
Although the Hispanic group will continue to be the second largest population group, its size will increasingly be challenged, in terms of growth rate if not in absolute figures, by Asians whose numbers are expected to swell as trade, business and cultural and personal ties between the US and the Asian continent grow, and the influx of skilled labour, mainly from China and India, continues.
However, arrivals from other Asian countries such as Japan, South Korea, Vietnam and Indonesia are also expected to grow.