UPDATED:  February 27, 2011 10:42 PM
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Asian Pacific Americans Fastest-Growing in Metro D.C. - Census

By: Cathy Crenshaw Doheny

Asian Americans, at approximately 15 million, are the nation’s fastest-growing minority group. A recently-released report on race and ethnicity by the U.S. Bureau of Census also showed they increased locally over the past decade.

The top five states with the largest increase in Asian population in the past decade were Nevada (116.5%), Arizona (91.6%), North Dakota (91.6%), North Carolina (83.8%) and Georgia (81.6%.) Hawaii’s Asian population changed the least, with only a 4.2% increase.

In the region, the Census showed 440,000 Virginia residents are Asian, accounting for 5.5 percent of the total population. This constitutes a whopping 68.5 percent increase–almost 70 per cent–since 2000.

Nine out of every 10 Asians live in Virginia’s three major metropolitan areas: Northern Virginia (71 percent), Hampton Roads (13 percent) and Richmond (9 percent). The top five birth countries of Virginia’s foreign-born Asians were India, Korea, Philippines, Vietnam and China.

With 318,853 Asian residents, Maryland saw a 51 percent increase in their Asian population in the last decade. And in our nation’s capital, there are now over 21,358 Asian Americans, equaling 3.6% of the city’s entire population and a 37.5% increase in the past 10 years.

Most of the District’s Asian residents live in Ward 2 (6,942) followed by Ward 3 (5,146), Ward 6 (3,161), Ward 1 (3,156), Ward 4 (1,218), Ward 5 (1,037), Ward 8 (260), and Ward 7 (136).

“We are excited about the new data released by the US Census Bureau and believe it provides a great overview of Asian residents in the District of Columbia,” said Soohyun “Julie” Koo, Director of the Mayor’s Office on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs.

Nationwide, the Asian population became the fastest-growing race over the past decade. Increasing from four percent to approximately five percent, the Asian population grew from 10.2 million in 2000 to 14.7 million in 2010, a 43 percent increase.

Though identified as the smallest major race group, the Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander population also grew significantly. This population rose from 398,835 in 2000 to 540,013 in 2010, increasing by more than one-third and changing its proportion of the total population (0.1 percent to 0.2 percent).

Remarked Kiran Ahuja, Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (www.aapi.gov) : “We see increasing numbers of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in important positions, but many pockets of this community are in great need of basic protections and services. When any of our citizens are left behind because they can’t live up to their potential despite their talent, character and work ethic, there’s a role for our government to play.”

Between 2000 and 2010, the nation’s total population increased by 27.3 million. In contrast, the White population was the only major race group to experience a decrease in its proportion of the total population, dropping from 75 percent in 2000 to 72 percent in 2010.

The Black population increased by over 4.3 million, the third-largest numeric increase behind the White alone and Asian alone populations. However, the Black population grew slower than most other major race groups, resulting in a mere 12 percent increase. For more information on the 2010 count, visit www.census.gov.

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