LOS ANGELES (March 10, 2011) – The Asian American and Pacific Islander population in California grew significantly during the past decade, according to a preliminary analysis of newly released Census 2010 data conducted by the Asian Pacific American Legal Center, a member of Asian American Center for Advancing Justice.
Remaining among the state’s fastest-growing communities, AAPIs grew from 4,321,585 in 2000 to 5,556,592 in 2010, representing 33.6 percent growth in the last decade. In comparison, the state’s overall population grew from 33,871,648 in 2000 to 37,253,956 in 2010, representing 10.0 percent growth.
AAPIs now constitute 15.5 percent of the state’s population, compared to 12.8 percent in 2000.
“Policymakers, the new Citizens Redistricting Commission, and local redistricting bodies must be accountable to the needs of the state’s substantial Asian American and Pacific Islander population,” stated Stewart Kwoh, president and executive director of APALC.
Figures presented here for AAPI populations are based on alone or in combination totals, which include both persons reporting a single race and also persons reporting two or more races. AAPI population figures based on alone or in combination totals are larger than AAPI population figures based on alone totals, which include only persons reporting a single race.
While many media outlets report AAPI population figures using alone totals, figures presented here are based on alone or in combination totals because they provide a more complete and inclusive count of AAPIs.
Implications for Redistricting
California’s new Citizens Redistricting Commission is tasked with redrawing boundaries for the state’s Congressional, Assembly, State Senate, and Board of Equalization districts based on Census 2010 data. The growth and size of AAPI populations in several areas of the state underscore the need for the Commission to consider AAPI community priorities as it carries out its responsibility of drawing new districts that comply with the federal Voting Rights Act and respect communities of interest.
“It is imperative that the Citizens Redistricting Commission and line-drawers at other levels of government in California consider AAPI communities when determining what district configurations are required by the Voting Rights Act,” statedEugene Lee, voting rights project director at APALC.
To ensure that the Commission has adequate input from AAPI communities about their interests and priorities, APALC is working with a statewide network called the Coalition of Asian Pacific Americans for Fair Redistricting to increase AAPI participation in the redistricting process. APALC is the anchor organization for CAPAFR, which is conducting outreach and education in nine counties with large concentrations of AAPIs.
In five of these counties, Census 2010 data show that AAPIs comprise over 20 percent of total population.
The following table lists the nine counties which CAPAFR is targeting for outreach efforts, along with AAPI population figures for each county.
The U.S. Census Bureau’s recent release of Census 2010 data for California follows a statewide effort spearheaded by APALC to ensure a complete count of California’s diverse AAPI population. APALC anchored the statewide API Count coalition, which urged AAPIs to participate in the decennial census through both traditional and innovative outreach methods.
With a particular focus on hard-to-count populations, API Count partner organizations conducted multilingual outreach to 17 AAPI ethnic groups and provided education about language assistance and other resources that were available to help community members fill out their census forms.