Nov 7, 2017 at 9:50am ET By Alyssa Walker

According to a new Pew study, Asians are the fastest growing ethnic group in the US, and will become the largest immigrant group by 2055, surpassing Hispanics.  

Between 2000 and 2015, the Asian population grew by 72 percent, from 11.9 million to 20.4 million.

Pew predicts that Asians will comprise 38 percent of US immigrants in the next 505 years.

Key findings of the study show that populations growth varied among the 19 Asian-origin groups. Bhutanese-, Nepalese-, and Burmese- origin populations showed the fastest growth, while Laotians and Japanese had some of the slowest growth among US Asians in the past 15 years.

The largest groups of US Asians are dominated by groups from China, India, and the Philippines.  As of 2015, Chinese immigrants comprised 24 percent of the population at 4.9 million, Indians 20 percent at 4 million, and Filipinos at 29 percent, or 3.9 million. Immigrants from Vietnam, Korea, and Japan also had populations over one million.

The study also looked at the economic well-being of Asian groups in the US. While there is variance among subgroups, the US Asian population is generally more well-off compared to the US population as a whole.

The median annual household income for Asian Americans is $73,060, compared to $53,600 for all US households.  Four groups had household incomes well below that average, though: Bangladeshi ($49,800), Hmong ($48,000), Nepalese ($43,500), and Burmese ($36,000). In contrast, Indian households have the highest median income at $100,000, Filipinos $80,000 and Japanese and Sri Lankans each $74,000.

Over half of Asians 25 and older have a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared with 30 percent of all Americans, and 45 percent of all US Asians live in the West—about a third in California alone.

Another interesting finding? The study found that 70 percent of Asians in the US over the age of five spoke proficient English in 2015.



Alyssa Walker is a freelance writer, educator, and nonprofit consultant. She lives in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with her family.

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