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Standing Out From the Crowd: The Asian Population 2010 Census

The diversity in my fridge

Whenever anyone visited me here in Los Angeles, one thing they would point out is the number of Asians here. I would say, "it's only because we are all clustered together, there really aren't that many of us."

Well, I am now officially wrong.

The 2010 United States Census: Asian alone or in combination 17,320,856

On Wednesday the United States Census reported that between 2000 and 2010, the Asian alone population has grown 43% and the Asian-in-combination by 46%. Here in California we are home to the largest Asian population, there are 5.6 million, which is a third of what is included in the 2010 census. Our state grew by 34%, in the South, Asians are the fastest growing group jumping to an increase of 69% over 10 years. Which puts Asians at 5.6% of the population of the United States.

Asians love California, New York, Texas, New Jersey (the shore!), Hawaii, Illinois, Washington, Florida, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. Everywhere in between only so-so.
However, even in the least-liked states, the Asian population grew by at least 30%. Asians even started moving to Nevada (the Strip!), Arizona, North Carolina, North Dakota, and Georgia (the peaches!).

Diversity in the Asian groups were the largest in 20 metro areas, with the Chinese being the largest group, followed by the Filipinos, Vietnamese, Japanese, Korean, and Asian Indians. In the West the largest group are the Filipinos at 65.6%.

What does this all mean?

This affects marketing: will advertisers now gear their products to Asians? Will Asians influence the trends in clothing, non-durable goods, housing? We are already steeped in "Asian Fusion" cuisine, from the food court to the three-star Michelin restaurants. Asians are not an invisible group that exists outside the mainstream: They are marrying outside their ethnic groups, living outside their communities, and have been weaving their stories into the cultural heritage of this country.

For the full US Census report on the Asian Population: 2010, please go here.

Artist, designer and teacher Ophelia Chong explores her adopted city of Los Angeles with an eye and ear for the small moments that tests the duality of being an Asian American. Join her on her journey every Thursday on KCET's SoCal blog