All Title Author
Keywords Abstract

Publish in OALib Journal
ISSN: 2333-9721
APC: Only $99


Relative Articles


The Growth and Spatial Assimilation of the Asian American Population, 1860-2018

DOI: 10.4236/sm.2022.123007, PP. 108-119

Keywords: Asian Americans, Population, Population Growth, Spatial Assimilation

Full-Text   Cite this paper   Add to My Lib


The research objective of this study is to document the growth and spatial distribution of the Asian American population from its initial inception in 1860 through the contemporary period. Because prior research on the Asian American population has been rather limited, we assemble data and statistics from various U.S. Censuses to document the long-term growth of the Asian American population. We also use descriptive statistics to analyze the distribution of the Asian American population across the four major U.S. Census regions as well as across the 50 U.S. states. The results show that this racial category has increased substantially both in absolute number as well as a percentage of the total American population. Most of this population growth occurred, however, after 1965. Accompanying this population growth is substantial spatial assimilation. The regional index of dissimilarity declined from 0.98 in 1860 to 0.24 in 2018. No longer located primarily in particular locales in the Pacific, our analysis reveals that the Asian American population now has significant presence in all of the U.S. states. Asian Americans have changed from being an isolated and tiny portion of the American population to a highly visible and widely recognized minority group. Ignoring Asian Americans in contemporary discussions of “race in America” is a lingering but outdated practice.


[1]  Azuma, E. (2005). Between Two Empires: Race, History, and Transformation in Japanese America. Oxford University Press.
[2]  Barringer, H., Gardner, R. W., & Levin, M. J. (1993). Asian American and Pacific Islanders in the United States. Russell Sage Foundation.
[3]  Bonacich, E. (1972). A Theory of Ethnic Antagonism: The Split Labor Market. American Sociological Review, 37, 547-559.
[4]  Bulosan, C. (1946). America is in the Heart. Penguin.
[5]  Conley, D. (2010). Being Black, Living in the Red: Race, Wealth, and Social Policy in America. University of California Press.
[6]  Fong, T. P. (2008). The Contemporary Asian American Experience: Beyond the Model Minority. Pearson Prentice Hall.
[7]  Frey, W. H. (2015). Diversity Explosion: How New Demographics Are Remaking America. Brookings Institution Press.
[8]  Gibson, C., & Jung, K. (2002). Historical Census Statistics on Population Totals by Race, 1790 to 1990, and by Hispanic Origin, 1970 to 1990, for the United States, Regions, Divisions, and States. Population Division, Working Paper No. 56, U.S. Census Bureau.
[9]  Hall, L. K. (2015). Which of These Things Is Not Like the Other: Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders Are Not Asian Americans, and All Pacific Islanders Are Not Hawaiian. American Quarterly, 67, 727-747.
[10]  Ichioka, Y. (1988). The Issei: The World of the First Generation Japanese Immigrants, 1885-1924. Free Press.
[11]  Joshi, K. Y., & Desai, J. (2013). Asian Americans in Dixie: Race and Migration in the South. University of Illinois Press.
[12]  Kingston, M. H. (1976). The Woman Warrior. Knopf.
[13]  Kitano, H. H., & Daniels, R. (1995). Asian Americans: Emerging Minorities. Pearson College Division.
[14]  Lee, E. (2015). The Making of Asian American America: A History. Simon and Schuster.
[15]  Lee, J., & Zhou, M. (2015). The Asian American Achievement Paradox. Russell Sage Foundation.
[16]  Lee, S. M. (1993). Racial Classifications in the U.S. Census: 1890-1990. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 16, 75-94.
[17]  Min, P. G. (1995). An Overview of Asian Americans. In P. G. Min (Ed.), Asian Americans: Contemporary Trends and Issues (pp. 10-37). Sage Publications.
[18]  Min, P. G. (2006). Asian American Immigration: History and Contemporary Trends. In P. G. Min (Ed.), Asian Americans: Contemporary Trends and Issues (pp. 7-31). Sage Publications.
[19]  Nee, V., & Holbrow, H. (2013). Why Asian Americans are Becoming Mainstream. Daedalus, 142, 65-75.
[20]  Okada, J. (1957). No-No Boy. University of Washington Press.
[21]  Okihiro, G. Y. (1994). Margins and Mainstreams: Asian Americans in American History and Culture. University of Washington Press.
[22]  Reich, M. (1981). Racial Inequality: A Political Economic Analysis. Princeton University Press.
[23]  Ruggles, S., Flood, S., Foster, S., Goeken, R., Pacas, J., Schouweiler, M., & Sobek, M. (2021). IPUMS USA: Version 11.0. IPUMS.
[24]  Sakamoto, A., & Ha, T. (2003). Catching up to California? Asian Americans in the South. In E. Lai, & D. Arguelles (Eds.), The New Face of Asian American Pacific America (pp. 175-181). Consolidated Printers.
[25]  Sakamoto, A., Iceland, J., & Siskar, T. (2022). The Socioeconomic Attainments of Second-Generation Southeast Asian Americans in the 21st Century: Evidence from the American Community Survey, 2012-2016. Population Research and Policy Review, 41, 59-88.
[26]  State of Hawaii Census Bureau (2019). American Community Survey 2019, Selected Population Profiles.
[27]  Sumida, S. H. (1998). East of California: Points of Origin in Asian American Studies. Journal of Asian American Studies, 1, 83-100.
[28]  Takaki, R. (1998). Strangers from a Different Shore: A History of Asian Americans. Back Bay.
[29]  Takei, I., Sakamoto, A., & Powers, D. A. (2012). Are Asian Americans Disadvantaged by Residing More in the West? Migration, Region, and Earnings among Asian American Men. Sociology Mind, 2, 158-168.
[30]  Tan, A. (1989). The Joy Luck Club. G.P. Putnam’s Sons.
[31]  Tang, I. (2008). Asian American Texans: Our Histories and Our Lives. It Works.
[32]  U.S. Census Bureau (1961). Race of the Population of the United States by States: 1960. Supplemental Report, PC(S1)-10, U.S. Census Bureau.
[33]  U.S. Census Bureau (2012). The Asian American Population: 2010. 2010 Census Brief, C2010BR-11, U.S. Census Bureau.
[34]  Wilson, W. J. (2009). More than Just Race: Being Black and Poor in the Inner City. W.W. Norton and Company.
[35]  Woo, D. (2000). Glass Ceilings and Asian Americans: The New Face of Workplace Barriers. Altamira Press.
[36]  Wu, E. D. (2014). The Color of Success: Asian Americans and the Origins of the Model Minority. Princeton University Press.
[37]  Xie, Y., & Goyette, K. (2004). Asian Americans: A Demographic Portrait. Russell Sage Foundation.


comments powered by Disqus

Contact Us


WhatsApp +8615387084133

WeChat 1538708413