File under News That is Sure to Enrage People Like This Guy: The Asian-American population in North Carolina is growing faster in North Carolina than in all but two other states, according to a new report. Since 2010, the Asian-American population statewide has increased at a faster clip than that of the Hispanic population. There are currently estimated to be 300,000 Asian Americans in North Carolina, or about 3 percent of the total population.
The study—a joint effort between the Institute for Southern Studies, Asian Americans Advancing Justice, the N.C. Justice Center, and the Southeast Asian Coalition—found that the largest communities are, perhaps not surprisingly, in the state’s two largest cities: Raleigh and Charlotte. Some 72,000 Asian Americans live in Wake County, with “sizable” populations in adjacent Durham and Orange Counties. Roughly 61,000 Asian Americans call Charlotte home.
“The growth of North Carolina’s Asian-American population has often gone under the radar, but these numbers demonstrate that this community is an important part of the increasing racial and ethnic diversity in the state,” says the Institute for Southern Studies’ Allie Yee, an author of the report.
Over half—60 percent—of the Asian-American community in North Carolina is made up of individuals born abroad. “About half of these immigrants have become naturalized U.S. citizens, although naturalization rates vary by ethnicity and country of origin,” the study notes. “Despite having largely foreign roots, the overall Asian-American population in North Carolina has a remarkably high citizenship rate: about 7 in 10 are citizens.”
Thus, Asian Americans are becoming more of a factor in N.C. elections. Registered voters increased 130 percent between 2006 and 2014, the study found; 90,000 Asian Americans were registered to vote for the 2014 midterms. “Yet more work is needed if they are to reach their full electoral potential. While 70 percent of all eligible North Carolina residents are registered to vote, only 58 percent of eligible Asian-American residents are,” Yee says.
To that end, SEAC and a few other organizations are holding some get-out-the-vote phone-banking sessions in Charlotte and Raleigh this Saturday. More info here.