(May 2002) Census 2000 data show Asian Americans are the most diverse U.S. minority group. Among the 10 million people who identified as Asian (alone) in the 2000 Census, five groups numbered 1 million or more: Chinese (2.3 million), Filipino (1.9 million), Asian Indian (1.7 million), Vietnamese (1.1 million), and Korean (1.1 million). Another 1.7 million Asian Americans identified with two or more races.
In 2000, almost half of the Asian Americans were concentrated in two states, California and New York, with a combined Asian population of 4.6 million. The ethnic composition of the Asian population varies in different parts of the country. In the South and Midwest, both areas with relatively small Asian populations, Asian Indians predominated in 2000. In the West, Asian Americans were most likely to be Filipino (25 percent), or Chinese (24 percent). Asians in the Northeast were most likely to identify themselves as Chinese (33 percent) or Asian Indian (26 percent).
About 96 percent of Asian Americans lived in metropolitan areas, compared with 91 percent of Hispanics, 86 percent of blacks, and 77 percent of non-Hispanic whites.1 Among Asians living in metro areas, about 54 percent lived in the suburbs (defined as the portion of a metro area outside of the central city). This suburban portion is smaller than that for non-Hispanic whites (71 percent), but higher than the figure for blacks (38 percent).
(Note: The racial data shown here exclude those who selected two or more races. People of Hispanic origin can be of any race.)
U.S. Census Bureau: Asian and Pacific Islander Population