Asian Boom

(top 50 CBSAs based on projected growth of Asian population)

Source: The Nielsen Co.


By Terry Munoz

The Asian population has grown rapidly over the past decade. Indeed, it has been identified as the fastest-growing racial group in America. What has not received much attention is whether the Asian population will continue growing into the foreseeable future.

According to the 2010 U.S. Census, Americans who reported their race as Asian or Asian plus another race grew by 45.6 percent between Census years 2000 and 2010. By contrast, the U.S. population as a whole grew by 9.7 percent. Even more impressive, all U.S. states reported Asian population growth of more than 30 percent except for Hawaii, where people of Asian descent already make up more than half of the state’s total population. But even Hawaii experienced double-digit growth, of 11 percent, during the period.

From a regional perspective, almost half of the population reporting Asian descent (46 percent) lived in the West, whereas 22 percent lived in the South, 20 percent in the Northeast and 12 percent in the Midwest, according to the U.S. Census. However, growth is now emerging in some unexpected regions. Whereas historically discussion regarding Asian population would focus on West Coast markets such as Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle, as well as the Eastern megamarkets of New York and Chicago, because they contain the largest Asian populations, the CBSA of McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Texas, is projected to experience an increase of 21 percent from 2013 to 2018, putting it at the top of the growth list. In fact, the state of Texas has five metropolitan areas in the top 25: The others include Austin, San Antonio, Dallas and Houston.

Furthermore, five Florida markets rank within the top 25: Cape Coral-Ft. Myers, Lakeland-Winter Haven, Bradenton-Sarasota, Tampa-St. Petersburg and Orlando-Kissimmee. All five will experience growth of more than 15 percent over the next five years.

Since conclusions based on percentage growth alone can mislead, given that small population increases result in large percentages, it is important to note that many of America’s largest metros appear high on the list. Markets like Houston, Dallas, Atlanta and Washington, D.C., will all experience more than 14 percent growth over the next five years.

—Terry Munoz is a vice president for The Nielsen Co.