As a demographic, Asian Americans are defined as people with a family history which comes from the Indian subcontinent, the Far East, and Southeast Asia. This includes nations like Japan, Korea, India, and Vietnam, but also includes a country like Pakistan, which may be surprising to some.
According to the CDC, in 2011, the population of Asian Americans, including those of more than one race, was estimated at 18.2 million in the U.S. population.
In total, this means just under 5% of the US population qualifies as being Asian American. Yet this is also one of the fastest growing groups of people right now. By 2050, the Asian American demographics are expected to double, with more than 40 million people living in the US.
Life in the US as an Asian American
- The largest population center concentration for Asian Americans is Hawaii, where 57% of the population reports being of this heritage.
- The state with the most overall Asian Americans is California, with 5.8 million people living there. New York comes in second with 1.7 million people.
- Chinese heritage is the most common background for Asian Americans, with more than 4 million people reporting this ethnicity. Filipinos [3.4 million], Indians [3.1 million], Vietnamese [1.73 million], and Korean [1.70 million] round out the top 5.
- Mongolian and Okinawan backgrounds account for the cultural histories of fewer than 30,000 Asian Americans today.
- Asian Americans as a group have the highest overall income of any racial group in the United States. They are also the best educated when compared to any other racial group.
- Asian Americans are also the fastest growing minority when it comes to immigrant arrivals. In 2009, more Asian Americans immigrated when compared to those coming from Hispanic origin.
- 3 out of 4 Asian Americans was born in a foreign country.
The United States is truly a land of opportunity for Asian Americans. Part of the reason for this may be because they have such a wide range of different beliefs, traditions, family practices, and perceptions of life. What makes people different is what can make people strong if they allow this to happen. Nearly half of all immigrants from the identified regions in Asia speak English very well already, which also means their adaptation to US culture goes well compared to other cultural or ethnic demographics.
What It Means To Be Asian American
- Only 14% of Asian Americans say that they prefer to be referred to as an American.
- 62% of Asian Americans prefer to be referred to based on their country of origin, even if they happen to be a first or second generation American.
- Just 1 out of 5 people in this demographic prefer the term “Asian American.”
- More Asian Americans [69%] say that hard work equates to success than the general American public [58%].
- When it comes to H1-B visa holders in the United States, 75% of them come from this region in the world. India accounts for 56% of these visas annually.
- 39% of Asian Americans say that as parents, they put too much pressure on their children to succeed.
- 61% of recent Asian American immigrants have a college degree. As a total population demographic, 49% of Asian Americans aged 25 or above have a bachelor’s degree.
- On average, half of Asian Americans say they are very different from the typical American. Koreans and Vietnamese say this at a 60% rate.
- 1 in 5 Asian Americans say they have personally experienced discrimination in the past year.
Asian Americans, perhaps more than any other minority group, have really come to embrace the idea of fusion with their culture and the culture of the US. Although some people may be put off by the fact that a majority of this demographic prefers to be referred to by their country of origin or background, this is a group of people who are wholeheartedly pursuing their own dreams. They are well-educated, desired to make a difference, and want to provide a better life for their families.
Why There Is A Better Life In the USA
- 73% of Asian Americans say that the US offers a better opportunity to get ahead. This is compared to just 5% of those who say the same thing about their country of origin.
- The freedom to express political views is 66 percentage points better in the United States when compared to the country of origin.
- 64% of Asian Americans say that the US treats its poor well, compared to 9% of Asian Americans who believe their country of origin does a good job.
- The only negative Asian Americans see in being in the US is the strength of family ties, which is seen as being 4x better in their country of origin.
- The average income for the American general public is $49,800. For Asian Americans, the median annual household income is $66,000.
- First generation or immigrant Asian Americans see themselves as doing better than their parents in their country of origin as a large majority, including 69% of families with a Japanese heritage.
- Overall 82% of Asian Americans say they are happier with life today and 43% are happy with the direction the country is taking.
As a demographic, Asian Americans are genuinely positive on average when it comes to their future. Instead of doom and gloom, they compare circumstances here to circumstances where their family originated. In many cases, there is no comparison. That’s why many see life in the US as better. Maybe that’s why only 39% of the Asian American demographic as a whole sees themselves as a typical American.
How The Asian American Demographics Are Changing
- 29% of newlywed Asian Americans married someone who was not Asian.
- Half of all Asian Americans say they would be very comfortable if their child married someone from outside of their culture.
- 59% of Asian Americans say they have friends outside of family groups that have a similar background.
- Half of all Asian Americans say they lean toward the Democratic party and 47% of this population demographic lives in the US west.
- 54% of Asian Americans say that their definition of having a good life means that they have a successful marriage.
The Asian American demographics may have some traditional views of life, but they are also evolving those views when needed. They willingly go outside of their comfort zone, embrace new cultures and ideas, yet still make sure their family, friends, education, and career are in top priority categories in many instances. When it comes to getting a job, a promotion, or an education, more than 60% of this demographic say they are treated equally to anyone else. As this minority demographic continues to grow, they will undoubtedly be a socioeconomic force for years to come.