WASHINGTON, D.C. (Sept. 26, 2014) — A new report highlights a demographic shift in the South, where the Asian American population has grown nearly 70 percent between 2000 and 2010.
The growth in registered voters grew at an unmatched pace in certain Southern states like Virginia, where the number of Asian Americans registered to vote increased by 136 percent between 2000 and 2012, and the number of Asian Americans to cast ballots increased by 180 percent between 2004 and 2012.
The report is part of the series, “A Community of Contrasts,” published by Asian Americans Advancing Justice, a national affiliation of leading organizations advocating for civil and human rights.
“The numbers are clear: Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (NHPI) are by far the fastest growing racial groups in the South, even outpacing the growth of Latinos,” said Mee Moua, president and executive director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice – AAJC. “What this indicates is that these communities will be a driving force in the South’s economy and provide the margin of victory in future elections.”
To prepare for the growing Asian American and NHPI community in the South, the Advancing Justice affiliation (which has offices in D.C., San Francisco, Los Angeles and Chicago) is expanding to include a new Atlanta affiliate, announced today at the Advancing Justice Conference, which brought more than 500 activists to Washington, D.C.
In addition to highlighting Asian American and NHPI political power, the report’s findings bring to the forefront the deep disparities within the community. While Asian American buying power and business success is greater than other minority racial groups in the South, many Asian American and NHPI communities are struggling financially and are often invisible.
“The report’s findings combat the ‘model minority’ stereotype that all Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders NHPI’s are doing well,” said Dan Ichinose, Director of the Demographic Research Project at Asian Americans Advancing Justice – LA. “Because of the growing population of Asian Americans and NHPIs in the South, investing in the Asian American & NHPI community is an investment in the South’s future success. The data clearly suggests a need for the South to invest in areas like language access, education, health care, affordable housing, food assistance and voter protection.”
Report’s key findings
• There are more than 3.8 million Asian Americans and more than 195,000 NHPIs living in the South.
• Between 2000 and 2010, the region’s Asian American population grew nearly 70 percent while the NHPI population grew 66 percent. Asian Americans and NHPIs are now the fastest growing racial groups in the South.
• Asian American and NHPI populations are growing faster in the South than in any other region nationwide.
• The number of Asian Americans who registered to vote in in the South grew at great rates between 2000 and 2012:, Georgia by 100 percent, Florida by 73 percent,
Maryland by 64 percent, Texas by 53 percent (higher than all other racial groups in the state) and Virginia by 136 percent.
• The number of Asian Americans who actually cast ballots in the South also grew exponentially between 2000 and 2012: Georgia by 168 percent, Florida 73 percent, Maryland by 42 percent, Texas by 38 percent and Virginia by 180 percent.
• Asian American and NHPIs buying power between 2000 and 2010 more than doubled in Florida, Georgia and Texas, Maryland and Virginia.
• A new American community, approximately two thirds of Asian Americans in the South are immigrants. About 30 percent of the Asian Americans living in Dallas, Houston, Washington, DC, Miami and Atlanta have limited English-speaking ability.