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Asian American Federation Research Highlights the Growth in Asian Communities and Eligible Voters in New York State Legislative Districts

New York, NY: The Asian American Federation (AAF) held a press conference today to release their most recent demographic profiles on the Asian communities within each of the legislative districts in New York State ahead of the upcoming 2020 Census. The profiles reveal that Asian Americans remain one of New York State’s fastest-growing communities. This growth is most pronounced in the upstate regions of New York. The population estimates for 2018 reveal that since 2010, the Asian population grew by 33 percent or more in the Capital District, Mohawk Valley, and Western New York regions of the state.

With the Asian American population’s growth throughout the state, the community now makes up more than 10 percent of the population in 38 Assembly districts and 13 Senate districts. Three of those 38 Assembly districts are majority Asian districts, namely: Assembly District 40, centered in Flushing, Queens, is 66 percent Asian; Assembly District 25, located along the Long Island Expressway around Fresh Meadows, Queens, is 58 percent Asian; and Assembly District 49 in Brooklyn, which includes neighborhoods in Bensonhurst, Dyker Heights, and Sunset Park, is 55 percent Asian.

On the Senate side, Senate District 16 in Queens, centered Flushing, was the only majority Asian district with a population that is 57 percent Asian.

The updated profiles can be downloaded from AAF’s website at:

The profiles also present the population totals for 18 Asian ethnic groups for each of the state legislative districts. While several of the major Asian ethnic groups can be found throughout the state, Bhutanese, Burmese, and Laotian communities largely live in legislative districts in upstate New York. Four other groups, namely, Indonesians, Malaysian, Sri Lankan, and Taiwanese, are more likely to be residents of districts in New York City.

Growth in Asian Languages

While Chinese remains the most common Asian language spoken in the state, an increasingly diverse range of Asian languages are being spoken around New York State. This is best reflected in the fact that according to the Census Bureau’s reporting, "Other Indic Languages,” represent the second largest language category in New York State. This category represents:

Another category, "Other Asian Languages,” was the largest Asian language category in five Assembly districts and two Senate districts outside of the New York Metro Area. This category is represented in part by newly emerging Asian languages which include:

Growth in Asian-American Voters

As Asian American communities continue to grow,they are becoming a larger percentage of New York State’s voting population.

Howard Shih, Research and Policy Director, Asian American Federation (AAF): "These profiles are important tools for our member agencies, community advocates and legislators. They show the growth of the Asian population throughout our state and the increasing potential of our community as voters and engaged participants in our democracy. We need to work together with our community leaders and elected officials to fully realize the promise of the community."

Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou, New York State Assembly, District 65: "Asian-Americans are still underrepresented and remain invisible to policymakers," said AssemblymemberNiou. "Data collection like the Asian Community Profile allows policy-makers to understand the demographics in our districts. Asian-Americans are the fastest growing ethnic group and face some of the toughest challenges like abject poverty, census undercounting, lack of educational attainment, or health issues like mental health, hepatitis B, or cancer. Yet, we remain largely ignored by our government. Through better, more precise data collection, we can shift the conversation to focus on measuring the realities our communities experience and creating tailored solutions to manage the hidden difficulties our communities face every day. Thank you to AAF for their work in researching and releasing this community profile."

State Senator John Liu, New York State Senate, District 11: "AAF's newly compiled community profiles are a huge asset to bring to Albany, where despite the fact that almost 2 million Asian Americans live in the state, we are still lacking Asian American representation. Reports like these help us validate not only what we know anecdotally, such as the locations of large populations of Asian Americans, but also where there may be emerging populations that we did not know about before. I look forward to working with my colleagues in state government, the Asian American Task Force and the Asian American Federation on how to best use this data to help serve the needs of our communities."

Assemblymember Ron Kim, New York State Assembly, District 40: "Asian Americans represent some of the fastest-growing communities in New York, and they will have an increasingly essential role to play in the future of our state. It is crucial that community members and their representatives stay up to date on community trends for their neighborhoods; the profiles released by the Asian American Federation represent a vital step in this regard, particularly in light of the upcoming 2020 Census. I congratulate AAF on its successful completion of these community profiles, and hope that they provide important insight for the leaders of their respective communities."

Kai Zhang, Director, New York State Assembly AP57A Task Force: "Countless Asian Pacific New Yorkers are invisible to those who represent them in Albany. Asian American Federation's Community Profiles is important for better understanding the disparate needs of different Asian Pacific American groups, hidden under the "model minority" myth. API's are the fastest growing racial group in the state, with the highest poverty and income disparity rates, and also the least state funding for social services. This report provides an invaluable tool for our Task Force this session, as we approach each Assembly member with legislative priorities for their API constituents. We applaud AAF for creating this report, ahead of the 2020 Census, which sets a model for New York state agencies more broadly, to do better in disaggregating data collected about Asian Pacific Americans, with proportional funding, to better serve the diverse needs of our communities."