A new report released today by the UCLA Study for the Center for Inequality and the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS) shows that by 2040 the Asian American electorate will more than double, and grow by 107%.
That’s faster than the expected growth of the Asian American population during the same period which is expected to increase by 74%.
The study comes 50 years after the passage of the Immigration & Nationality Act of 1965 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
“Our report finds that in 2015, there are 20.5 million Asian Americans, and a quarter of a century from now, 35.7 million, said Paul Ong, Director of the UCLA Center on the Study of Inequality. “In 2040, nearly 1 in 10 Americans will be Asian American. During the same period, the number of Asian American registered voters will increase from 5.9 million to 12.2 million.”
According to Elena Ong, the report’s co-author, says in 2040 the Asian American electorate will be different from the one you see today. Ong calls this a “multigenerational transformation.” 47% will be younger and U.S. born. 53% will be older and foreign born.
“These trends have notable implications for Asian American political empowerment. . . . [and] significant meaning for the very nature of American politics, said Franklin Gilliam Jr, Dean of UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. “It has been only recently that researchers have included Asian Americans in the coalition paradigm. . . . The possibility of [inter-ethnic] coalition politics is highly dependent on the issues at play, the composition of the Asian American population in question, and, ultimately, the articulation of an Asian American political agenda.”
Don Nakanishi, Professor Emeritus and Director Emeritus of the UCLA Asian American Studies Center, also pondered how these trends will play out.
“Three scenarios could challenge or disrupt an optimistic view of the political future for Asian America during the 25 years leading up to 2040. . . . class [differences] . . . partisan skirmishes and controversies . . . and America’s color line,” he said.
This report, which is the first of a series of publications on the future of AAPIs, presents projections of the Asian American population to 2040, with a focus on the electorate.