HomeAsian Americans85% of Asian Americans come from six countries

85% of Asian Americans come from six countries

Asian Americans six top origin countries

Views from the Edge

After receiving criticism for not including Asians and Asian Americans in their examination of ethnic groups in the United States, the Pew Research Center has done its best to rectify that shortcoming.

The latest report, released to coincide with Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, from Pew shows that 85% of all the 22 million Asian Americans are made up from six countries. The rest of the percentile pile, about 13%, is shared by at least 13 other origin groups.

According to Pew, Chinese Americans still make up the largest group with 23%. They are followed by the fastest-growing group, Indian Americans with 19%; closely followed by Filipinos, 18%; Vietnamese and Koreans, 9% each; and Japanese, 7%

Asian American population 2019 Pew
Asian American population 2019 Pew

Other findings based on an analysis of the US Census:

  • About half of Asians in the U.S. ages 25 and older had a bachelor’s degree or more in 2015, a higher share than other races and ethnicities, but this share varies greatly by origin group
  • Seven-in-ten U.S. Asians ages 5 and older speak English proficiently. 
  • Income inequality is rising more rapidly among Asian Americans than other racial or ethnic groups, reflecting wide disparities in income among Asian origin groups.

When the Pew Research Center omitted Asian American data in its initial report in 2010 because the Asian Americans, when compared to Whites, Blacks and Hispanics, was statistically insignificant, it received an onslaught of criticism from the Asian American community.

In an effort to rectify their omission, in 2012, Pew released a follow-up report, “The Rise of Asian Americans,” it again was heavily criticized for painting Asian Americans as the “model minority.” A revised report was released in 2013. Subsequent follow-ups to the follow-up continue to this day with researchers taking more care in its interpretation of the raw data that they glean about Asian Americans.

For more information on Asians in the U.S., see Pew Research Center’s detailed fact sheets for each national origin group.

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