Two million South Asian Americans. At least, those are the figures we’ve been working with since the 2000 Census and many of us have been on the edge of our seats to see how these numbers have changed in the past 10 years. The US Census is slowing releasing their data and this week they released numbers the larger Asian subcategories under Asian. Meaning, we now have access to some “Asian Indian only” data for SOME of the states. This didn’t keep the media from publishing findings, and I spent some time trying to suss out their source.
A little surfing on American FactFinder (actually, a really inordinate amount of time surfing – they’ve updated the site and it’s not very intuitive). It turns out the South Asian American population has grown – of the Asian American categories, Asian Indians are the second largest only after Chinese. The South Asian population is at 2,802,676 and these will most likely change as the 2010 numbers get published on the census site.
So. Where exactly are the Desis at?
I took the population data available and did a county break down of all the Asian Indians residing and divided that by the total population. Please note, since the data is still being released in waves, we are still missing a few states to this analysis – Arkansas, New Jersey and Texas and likely some more. Clearly the data for New Jersey and Texas will change the findings. Also keep in mind that the sub-categories for Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, etc… have not been published yet.
At 11.1% concentration, we have Sutter County, CA listed at the top. Home to Yuba City and a long history of Sikh American farmers, this should come as no big surprise, though the percentage point is rather high. Santa Clara County is next on the list and is considered the “Silicon Valley”, including landmarks such as Stanford University and Google. Third on the list is of course, Queens County, which is where the Indian neighborhood Jackson Heights is.
If you look at raw population count alone, Santa Clara County is number one, Queens County is number two and Los Angeles County is number three. Continue reading