Orange County currently has a population of over 3 million making it the third most populous county in California and the sixth most populous county in the United States. The ethnic demographics of Orange County demonstrate the major demographic shifts which have transformed Orange County from a predominantly homogenous county to one where Asian American Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders (AANHPI) now make up 21% of the county’s population. Between 2000 and 2010, the Asian American population in Orange County grew by 41%; In contrast, the county-wide population only grew by 6%. With nearly 600,000 Asian Americans and over 19,000 Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders, Orange County is home to the third largest Asian American population in the United States.
In recent years, Orange County has emerged as an epicenter of economic growth. Asian Americans have made significant contributions to this growth with over 63,000 Asian American-owned businesses generating over $20 billion in revenue.
Despite this economic prosperity, Orange County is a large and vast metropolitan area with significant unmet needs. Indeed, 62% of the AANHPI population in Orange County are immigrants born outside of the US with more than 38% being limited English proficient. 14% of the AANHPI population is uninsured while one in ten live below the poverty line.
While Asian American registered voters in the county are casting ballots at record numbers, the gap between registered and potential voters remains significant. Despite comprising 20% of the county’s population, only 230,000 Asian Americans or 14% of the county’s electorate were registered to vote in 2012.