We are pleased to announce the release today of a ground-breaking new demographic report, A Community of Contrasts: Asian Americans in the United States, 2011, co-authored by the Asian Pacific American Legal Center and the Asian American Justice Center, members of the Asian American Center for Advancing Justice. This is the first in a series of demographic reports to be released on the state of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders over the next few years.
With the 2012 elections upon us, Community of Contrasts comes at a most opportune time. The Asian American community has grown faster than any other racial group over the past decade: More than 46 percent between 2000 and 2010, according to the report’s analysis of Census data. That means more Asian Americans then ever before are poised to influence next year’s presidential election, and we are ready to speak up and voice the issues that matter most to us. At the same time, our community needs citizenship assistance, voter registration and Get Out the Vote programs to ensure we reach our full potential.
Our population is also dispersing throughout the U.S. Texas now has more Asian Americans than Hawaii and a third of the states now have Asian populations greater than 225,000.
The report also found significant social and economic diversity among Asian American ethnic groups, with some enjoying prosperity and others experiencing hardship. For example, while Asian Americans have made considerable contributions to the U.S. economy over the past decade (e.g., Asian American businesses issued more than $80 billion in payroll), other data shows that certain ethnic groups like Hmong, Bangladeshi and Cambodian Americans are among the country’s poorest (e.g., nearly one in four Hmong Americans live below the poverty line). Limited fluency in English remains a significant barrier for many.
Copies of the report are available online at www.advancingjustice.org.