Asian-Americans are America's fastest-growing racial minority, and much of their population growth has come in political battleground states, according to a new report based on Census Bureau data.
The Asian-American population grew 46 percent between the 2000 and 2010 censuses, and they now make up nearly 5 percent of the U.S. population, according to the Asian Amerian Center for Advancing Justice.
They are also beginning to disperse from their traditional population bases of California, New York, and Hawaii, the report found. Their fastest growth in the last decade came in Nevada, Arizona, North Carolina, Georgia, and New Hampshire.
“Asian-American communities are growing fastest in states likely to be contentious in next year’s presidential election,” said Karen Narasaki, head of the Asian American Justice Center, a member of the Asian American Center for Advancing Justice. “The report should be a wake-up call to political parties that Asian-Americans are an emerging political force, not only in California, New York, or Hawaii, but throughout the country.”
The report also found, however, that although Asian-Americans had record turnout in the 2008 election, only 68 percent of those who are of voting age are actually citizens; 55 percent of those eligible to vote have registered.
“More naturalization, voter registration, and 'get out the vote' efforts are needed if Asian-Americans are to maximize their political potential,” said Stewart Kwoh, head of the Asian Pacific American Legal Center, another member of the Asian American Center for Advancing Justice. “Language assistance at the polls is also critical.”