Asian Americans Advancing Justice - LA

Building upon the legacy of the Asian Pacific American Legal Center US Census: Asian Americans fastest growing racial group

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

LOS ANGELES – A new U.S. Census Bureau population report shows that the Asian American population is the fastest growing racial group nationwide.

Between 2010 and 2015, the number of Asian Americans grew 19 percent; during the same time period total overall population growth was only 4 percent, according to an analysis of the Census data by Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Los Angeles.

There are now about 21 million Asian Americans living in the United States. Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders (NHPI) are now the second fastest growing racial group, growing 13 percent to 1.5 million.

The new mid-decade Census data show that while certain states like California, Texas, New York, Washington and New Jersey continue to have large Asian American populations, other states such as North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Montana and Indiana have some of the fastest growing Asian American populations.

Asian American population growth also continues to outpace other racial groups. For example, Asian American numeric growth exceeded that of Latinos in four states – Minnesota, Michigan, Vermont, and Washington.

For an interactive map of the Asian American and NHPI population by state, go to

While the largest NHPI populations continue to grow in Hawai’i and California, the NHPI community in Arkansas remains one of the fastest growing. Over the past five years, the NHPI population in Arkansas has increased 30 percent to over 11,000.

“Asian Americans and NHPI live in every state in the nation,” said Stewart Kwoh, executive director of AAAJ-Los Angeles. “It is important that local social service providers build the capacity to serve these emerging communities.”

According to the Census Bureau, much of the growth among the Asian American population is due to net migration, while other racial groups are experiencing natural population growth.

“Asian Americans are a disproportionately immigrant community, comprised of over 30 distinct ethnic groups, while NHPI have over 20 ethnic groups under their umbrella,” said Joanna Lee, senior research analyst for AAAJ-Los Angeles. “Understanding the incredible social and economic diversity of these growing population groups is critical in understanding how best to address their needs.”

Advancing Justice-LA has also published multiple reports featuring detailed social and economic data on the Asian American and NHPI communities. To access this data, go to

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Our mission is to advocate for civil rights, provide legal services and education, and build coalitions to positively influence and impact Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders and to create a more equitable and harmonious society.