Asian Population Growing Faster Outside New York City in New Report

The newly released report, Asian Americans of the Empire State: Growing Diversity and Common Needs, from the Asian American Federation finds that the Asian population in New York State grew fastest outside of New York City. The number of Asian residents in the suburban counties surrounding New York City grew by 47 percent and those in counties outside of the New York City metro area grew by 56 percent. With the population growth upstate came increased diversity. Burmese Americans went from being too small to be reported to the sixth largest Asian group in upstate counties in 2010.

Unemployment rates in the Asian community were mostly at or below the general population, indicating Asians were active participants in our economy. Additionally, without the growth in the Asian population, New York's total population would have declined in the last decade.

Asians were more likely to live in poverty, have limited English ability, and less likely to have graduated from high school than their non-Asian neighbors.

“The increased diversity and population growth across the states brings new challenges for policy makers and service providers,” states Cao K. O, executive director of the Asian American Federation. “Many new residents are working and contributing to their new communities, but do not necessarily come with the resources or skills to thrive in our state.”

Asians were also as a group more likely to have graduated from college, have higher incomes and be employed in white-collar professions, pointing to a major education gap within the Asian community. These more successful Asians contribute greatly to New York's communities, but also help to obscure the struggles of the working poor.

The report covers statewide and regional demographic changes. In addition, detailed socioeconomic indicators for New York City, the suburban counties surrounding New York City, and upstate counties with the largest Asian populations are presented. The report concludes with a summary of key demographic groups: the working poor, refugees, seniors, college and university populations and well-educated professionals. A copy of this report may be downloaded from