U.S. Asian Indian population explodes


The nation’s Indian American population has exploded over the past decade, far outpacing the growth of other Asian groups, according to newly released 2010 Census data.

Indians have surpassed Filipinos as the nation’s second-largest Asian population after Chinese, the data show. In 19 of the first 26 states (including Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico) for which figures have been released, Indians have emerged as the largest Asian subgroup, with especially large majorities in the Midwest and South.

New York and Florida, once the biggest magnets for Indian immigrants, have been replaced by California, especially the area around Silicon Valley. According to the detailed Census demographic analysis released May 12, California’s Indian population climbed 68 percent from 2000 to 2010, to 528,000 people, making it by far the largest Asian Indian community in the U.S.

New York state’s Asian Indian population, meanwhile, grew by a healthy 24.6 percent over the 10-year period, to 313,000.

Six of the top 10 cities that have at least 10,000 Asian Indian residents are in California: Cupertino, Fremont, Sunnyvale, and Santa Clara, all in Silicon Valley; and Livingston and Yuba City, rural communities with large concentrations of Sikh farmers. In each city, at least one in seven residents are Asian Indian. “The growth in population is because of job opportunities and better education,” says Raj Bhanot, a tax auditor for the state.

California’s Indian American population has now surpassed the Japanese and Korean communities in size, notes Hans Johnson, a demographer at the Public Policy Institute of California. “We know from other data that it’s the best-educated population — more likely, for example, to be college-educated than whites.”

Chinese continue to be California’s biggest Asian group, with 1.25 million people.

In the South, meanwhile, the Indian American population increased by more than 80 percent in four states — Florida, South Carolina, Tennessee and Kentucky — and more than doubled in a fifth state, Georgia.

The population of Indian Americans in Florida rose from 70,740 in 2000 to 128,735 in 2010, an increase of 82 percent. Indians are the largest Asian group in Florida, far ahead of Filipinos, at 90,223.

In Georgia, the number of Asian Indians surged to 96,116, versus 46,132 in 2000. The next largest Asian populations were Koreans (52,431), and Chinese and Vietnamese (virtually tied at around 45,000).

In South Carolina, where Nikki Haley, the daughter of Sikh immigrants, is governor, the Asian Indian population grew from 8,856 to 15,941. Filipinos are the second-largest Asian group, at 10,053, and Chinese third at 9,686.

Tennessee’s population of 23,000 Asian Indians represented an 86 percent increase from the 2000 count. The second-biggest Asian group in the state — 18,867 people — was the category “Other Asians.” Chinese were third among Asian groups with 15,415 and Vietnamese fourth at 10,033.

The Asian groups listed separately in newly released census data are: Asian Indian, Chinese, Filipino, Vietnamese, Korean and Japanese. All other Asians were grouped together in the “Other Asian” category, unless listed in mixed race cohorts.

In Kentucky, the Asian Indian population shot up 84.6 percent from 2000 to 2010, going from 6,771 to 12,501. Chinese were second with 9,051 residents and “Other Asians” totaled 8,103.

Massachusetts went from 43,801 to 77,177 Asian Indians, a rise of 76.2 percent. Indian Americans, who constitute 1.2 percent of the total population, are the second largest Asian group in the state after Chinese (122,957).

Indian Americans in Michigan grew from 54,656 to 77,132 in the decade, making them the largest Asian group in the state, with Chinese a distant second at 44,496.

In New Mexico, Chinese are the most numerous Asian group with 5,729 residents, followed by Filipinos (4,963), Vietnamese (4,723) and Asian Indians (4,550). There were just 3,104 Asian Indians counted in the state in 2010.

Vietnamese are the largest Asian group in Mississippi with 7,025 enumerated in 2010, followed by Indians at 5,494, up from 3,827 counted in 2000.

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