NC in Focus: Asian Population

In 1978, Congress established the first week of May as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week to coincide with two important historical milestones: the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants to the United States on May 7, 1843, and the contributions of Chinese workers to the building of the transcontinental railroad, completed on May 10, 1869. In 1992, Congress expanded this week observance into a month-long celebration.

252,000

The number of Asian residents in North Carolina on July 1, 2013. This was an increase of 4.5% from July 1, 2012, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Population Estimates.

445,000

The projected size of North Carolina’s Asian population on July 1, 2033, according to the North Carolina Office of State Budget and Management. In 2033, the Asian population is projected to be 3.7% of the state’s total population, a significant increase from the 2.6% it represented in 2013.

1.5%

The share of the nation’s Asian population that lived in North Carolina in 2013. North Carolina had the 15th largest Asian population in the nation. Nearly 1 in 3 of the nation’s 16.6 million Asian residents lived in California in 2013 (5.4 million). In contrast, there are five states—South Dakota, Vermont, North Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming—with fewer than 10,000 Asian residents.

75%

The proportion of North Carolina’s Asian residents who associate with the top 5 origin groups in the state: Asian Indian (28%), Chinese (excluding Taiwanese) (16%), Vietnamese (15%), Korean (8%), and Filipino (8%).Top 5 Countries of Origin_NC Asian Residents_2013

21

The size of the Asian population in Gates County on July 1, 2013, the smallest in the state. Gates also had the smallest proportion Asian (0.18%) of any county. Statewide, twenty counties had fewer than 100 Asian residents in 2013.

59,000

The size of the Asian population in Wake County on July 1, 2013, representing 6.1% of all Wake residents. Wake had the largest Asian population in the state, followed by Mecklenburg (51,000), Guilford (23,000), Durham (14,000), and Orange (11,000).

North Carolina’s Asian population is highly concentrated in urban areas. Half of the state’s Asian population can be found in 3 counties.Half of NC Asian Population Lives in 3 Counties

Data Source: Unless otherwise specified, all data came from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Population Estimates.

About Rebecca Tippett

Rebecca Tippett is Director of Carolina Demography at UNC-Chapel Hill's Carolina Population Center.
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