Asians and Pacific Islanders constitute the fastest growing immigrant community in California and the West, making up 16 percent of the Golden State’s population, according to a new study.
“Asian Americans, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders are the fastest-growing racial group in the West,” concluded the report released Tuesday by Asian Americans Advancing Justice, a coalition of local community organizations.
The Golden State’s population included 5.6 million Asian Americans and nearly 300,000 Pacific Islanders according to 2010 Census data. Throughout the 13 Western states in 2014, there were 9.1 million Asian Americans and nearly one million Pacific Islanders.
The report noted that Asian Americans are more likely to be foreign-born than any other racial group, and that immigration data shows large numbers arriving from India, the Philippines, China, Vietnam and South Korea.
The study highlights how the acrimonious national debate over Mexican immigration and a border wall is increasingly at odds with the actual data about population growth in the United States.
Other findings from the report were:
- Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders contribute significantly to the economy through small business ownership, job creation and consumer spending.
- This group’s political power is growing through increased naturalization and voter participation.
- Immigration continues to fuel the growth of Asian American and Pacific Islander communities in the West, with many immigrants being undocumented.
“Congress and the president must work to fix our broken immigration system through policies that are compassionate, keep families together, and do not criminalize or profile immigrants,” the study said.
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