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Analysis of the Indian American Community from Census 2010 Data

The Indian American population has increased by over 80% over the past decade.
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    Editor’s note: India-West reporter Richard Springer produced a series of articles analyzing data from the U.S. Census 2010 with regards to the Indian American community. Following are Mr. Springer’s detailed articles published in May and June 2011 along with tables and charts compiled by India-West. 

    Indian American Population Up Over 80% in 4 Southern States

    The Indian American population increased in the last decade by more than 80 percent in four southern states – Florida, South Carolina, Tennessee and Kentucky, according to the first set of newly released U.S. 2010 Census data.

    The Census Bureau is having a phased rollout all during May of detailed demographic data from the 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Data for 12 states and D.C. were released last week.

    The population of Indian Americans in Florida rose from 70,740 counted in 2000 to 128,735 in 2010, an increase of 82%. Indians are the largest Asian group in Florida, while Filipinos are second at 90,223.

    In South Carolina, where Nikki Haley, the daughter of Indian immigrants, is governor, the Indian American population went from 8,856 to 15,941 in the decade, an increase of 80%. Indian Americans are the largest Asian group in the state. Filipinos are second at 10,053 and Chinese third at 9,686.

    Tennessee had 12,835 Asian Indians (as the category is called by the U.S. Census Bureau) counted in 2000 and 23,900 in 2010, a jump of 86.2%. Indians are the largest Asian group in the state. There were many respondents in Tennessee – 18,867 – who listed themselves as “Other Asians” in count. Chinese were third among Asian groups with 15,415 and Vietnamese fourth at 10,033.

    The Asian groups listed separately in newly released census data are: Asian Indian, Chinese, Filipino, Vietnamese, Korean and Japanese. All other Asians were grouped together in the “Other Asian” category, unless listed in mixed race cohorts.

    In Kentucky, the Asian Indian population shot up 84.6% from 2000 to 2010, going from 6,771 to 12,501. Chinese were second with 9,051 residents and “Other Asians” totaled 8,103.

    Two states in New England, Massachusetts and Maine, had large percentage increases in Asian Indians over the decade.

    Massachusetts went from 43,801 to 77,177, a rise of 76.2%. Indian Americans, who constitute 1.2% of the total population, are the second largest Asian group in the state after Chinese (122,957).

    Maine’s Asian Indian population went from 1,021 to 1,959, an increase of 91.9%. Asians are the third largest Asian population group behind Chinese (3,514) and Other Asian (3,018).

    The other states with data released last week were: Michigan, New Mexico, Mississippi, Rhode Island, West Virginia and North Dakota.

    Indian Americans in Michigan grew from 54,656 to 77,132 in the decade, making them the largest Asian group in the state, with Chinese a distant second at 44,496.

    In New Mexico, Chinese are the most numerous Asian group with 5,729 residents, followed by Filipinos (4,963), Vietnamese (4,723) and Asian Indians (4,550). There were just 3,104 Asian Indians counted in the state in 2010.

    Vietnamese are the largest Asian group in Mississippi with 7,025 enumerated in 2010, followed by Indians at 5,494, up from 3,827 counted in 2000.

    Asian Indians in Rhode Island went from 2,952 to 4,653 over the decade. Rhode Island is the only state among those who reported data last week where the Other Asian category led all Asian groups with 12,220 residents who identified themselves that way. Chinese were second with 6,860 counted.

    The Asian Indian population in West Virginia went from 2,856 to 3,304 in the decade. They are the largest Asian group in the state ahead of 2,719 Chinese.

    North Dakota had a large percentage increase in its Asian Indian population from 2000 to 2010, an 87.7% jump. The 1,543 Indian Americans increased from 822 in 2000. Asian Indians make up just 0.2% of the population of North Dakota. Chinese are the next largest Asian group with 1,515 residents.

    The Asian Indian population in the District of Columbia was 5,212 in 2010, closely trailing the Chinese population of 5,231.

    Indians in Calif. Up Nearly 50%; Up Only 5.9% in NY

    The Indian American population in California rose from 360,392 residents in 2000 to 528,176 in 2010, an increase of 46.4%, according to Census 2010 data released last week by the U.S. Census Bureau.

    New York state, by contrast, experienced a modest rise in what the Census Bureau calls the “Asian Indian only” population, going from 296,056 a decade ago to 313,620 in 2010, up just 5.9%.

    In California, some cities saw an explosion in Indian American residents (See Table 1).

    Fremont passed Los Angeles to become the California city with the second largest population of Indian Americans.

    San Jose remains first with 43,827 Indians, followed by 38,711 in Fremont and 32,996 in Los Angeles.

    In 2000, the figures for Indian Americans in San Jose, Fremont and Los Angeles were 28,301, 21,618 and 29,604, respectively. 

    San Ramon in the East Bay, where public schools are highly thought of and new housing has been built in the decade, Indians skyrocketed from 1,463 in 2000 to 8,179 in 2010, a jump of 459%. Cupertino increased 189.9% in Indian American residents, from 4,546 in 2000 to 13,179 in 2010.

    Elk Grove near Sacramento, another city that has built new homes, went from 1,645 Indians in 2000 to 4,968 in 2010, an increase of 202%. The East Bay city of Pleasanton, another area with good housing and schools, shot up 175.29% from 1,894 Indians in 2000 to 5,214 in 2010. Yuba City, a center for the Sikh American farming community, increased from 5,357 in 2000 to 8,863 in 2010.

    The increase in Indian Americans in California, however, was not confined to the north. The Asian Indian population in Bakersfield more than doubled from 3,521 in 2000 to 7,328 in 2010. Irvine in Southern California saw its Indian American population grow 124% from 4,762 to 10,687 a decade later.

    There was a 47.32% increase in the number of Indian Americans living in San Francisco from 2000 to 2010, likely due to young techies who have gravitated to start-up companies there. The count was 6,195 Asian Indians in 2000 and 9,747 in 2010. 

    Among California counties, Santa Clara rose from 70,159 in 2000 to 117,596 in 2010, while Los Angeles had a more modest increase from 71,265 to 79,169 Indian Americans.

    Some counties with sizable jumps in Asian Indians counted were Fresno (from 9,408 to 15,469), San Joaquin (from 6,195 to 15,397), Alameda (from 47,194 to 72,169) and Contra Costa (from 13,376 to 18,255).

    Indian Americans now constitute a sizeable share of the population in many cities in Silicon valley and the East Bay (see Table 1), an indication they will be a force in the future in politics and other local concerns.

    Indian Americans now constitute 22.6% of the population in Cupertino, 18.08% in Fremont, 15.52% in Sunnyvale, 13.75% in Yuba City, 13.64% in Santa Clara, 11.46% in Union City and 11.34% in San Ramon.


    New York counties and boroughs have some of the largest numbers of Indian Americans in the country. There were 117,550 Asian Indians counted in Queens, 39,572 in Nassau County, 26,144 in Kings County, 25,857 in New York, 15,975 in Suffolk County and 15,865 in the Bronx.

    In addition to data for New York and California, Census totals were also released last week for the states of Georgia, Ohio, Connecticut, Arizona, Minnesota, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, Idaho, Alaska, Montana, and for Puerto Rico (See Table 2).

    The number of Indian Americans in Arizona from 2000 to 2010 went from 17,042 to 36,047, an increase of 115.2%. Indians in Georgia increased from 50,734 to 96,116. The population of Indian Americans in New Hampshire in the decade rose 94.2%, from 4,258 to 8,268. 

    NOTE: The week before last, the Census Bureau released data for 12 other states and the District of Columbia (I-W, May 13). There were erroneous figures used by this reporter for the count of Asian Indians in the 2000 Census, consequently, the percentage increases were not correct. Indeed, there were significant percentage increases of Asian Indians in many states, especially in the South, as the article stated, but the increases were in the 50% to 60% range, not 75% to 86% range, as previously reported. The corrected 2000 Census numbers and the percentage increases appear at the bottom half of Table 2. The error is regretted.

    The Census Bureau this week will release 2010 Census demographic profiles for Alabama, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

    Next week, data for Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Vermont and Virginia will be made public, completing profiles for all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico

    In Puerto Rico, by the way, Asian Indians are by far the largest Asian subgroup with 3,523 residents.

    Indian American Population in U.S. Jumps 69%

    Indian Americans were the main driver in population growth of Asian Americans in the United States during the last decade, as their numbers shot up dramatically from 1,678,765 in 2000 to 2,843,391 in 2010, an increase of 69.37 percent.

    Indians are approaching one percent of the U.S. total population, which totaled 308.7 million in 2010, according to recently released U.S. 2010 Census data.

    In 25 states in America, mainly in the South and Midwest, Indians are now the largest Asian subgroup.

    These states are: New Jersey, Texas, Illinois, Florida, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Maryland, Michigan, Ohio, North Carolina, Connecticut, Arizona, Alabama, Tennessee, Indiana, South Carolina, Kentucky, Missouri, West Virginia, Hew Hampshire, Delaware, North Dakota, Iowa and Arkansas.

    (The “other Asian” category had a slightly larger total than Asian Indians in Iowa and Arkansas, but when the “Other Asian” is broken down by racial groups in June, Indian Americans will certainly be the largest Asian subgroup in those two states.)

    While California had the most Indian American residents in 2010, 528,176, and New York was second at 313,620, Indians have their higher percentage as a ratio of a state’s total population in New Jersey.

    There are now 292,256 Asian Indians, as the Census Bureau terms Indian Americans, in New Jersey, 3.3 percent of the state’s total population. Indian Americans in New Jersey numbered just 169,180 in 2000, so their number has increased almost 73 percent.

    The next states after the top three with the largest numbers of Indian Americans in 2010 were: Texas, 245,981; Illinois, 188,328, Florida, 128,735; Virginia, 103,916, Pennsylvania, 103,026; Georgia, 96,116; Maryland, 79,051; Massachusetts, 77,177; Michigan, 77,132; Ohio, 64,187; Washington, 61,124; and North Carolina, 57,400.

    The “Asian only” population in the U.S. increased from 10,242,998 to 14,674,252 in the decade, a 43.3 percent jump, more than four times the total U.S. rate of 9.7 percent.

    Asians constituted 4.2 percent of the nation’s population in 2000 and 4.8 percent in 2010. The total number of Asians of one race or in combination with one or more races was 11,898,828 in 2000.

    Indian Americans not only had the highest percentage increase of any of the major Asian American groups in the U.S., they also had the largest increase in raw numbers.

    Chinese, the largest Asian group in the U.S., went from 2,432,585 residents in 2000 to 3,347,229 in 2010. Filipinos dropped from the second largest Asian group in the U.S. in 2000 to the third largest in 2010, increasing from 1,850,351 residents to 2,555,923 in the decade.

    Vietnamese widened their lead over Koreans as the fourth largest Asian group in 2000 in the U.S. Vietnamese now number 1,548,449, up from 1,122,528 in 2000. Koreans increased from 1,076,872 to 1,423,784 in the period.

    The Japanese population in the U.S., which has the highest average age level among all Asian groups, fell in population from 796,700 to 763,325 during the decade.

    Factors, besides an aging population, that could contribute to the loss in the Japanese population could include a higher rate of intermarriage by Japanese than other Asian groups and fewer Japanese coming to the U.S. for study.

    The Indian American population increased due to several factors, some of them obvious and others less so.

    It is well known that Indians claimed many professional visas in the decade, particularly H-1Bs. India was also a leading source of foreign students from 2000-10. Many have stayed to continue their studies or to work in the country.

    Another factor is the growth of small businesses run by Indian Americans, particularly convenience stores, hotels and motels and in the health-related fields.

    Another factor that has contributed to an increase in the Indian American population is that many Indians who immigrated to the U.S. in the 1980s and 1990s have sponsored relatives under the family visas. The waits, in some cases, are seven years or more in some categories, so there is a steady stream of relatives coming to the U.S. in delayed pipelines.

    Also, since Indian Americans are the least likely of Asian groups in the U.S. to marry outside their ethnicity and race according to previous studies, Indians are less likely than the other Asian groups to have large numbers included in the category of “Other Asians,” which includes those of two or more race in addition to the less-populous Asian groups.

    Data on other Asian American ethnic groups, including the other South Asian communities and the mixed race categories, will be released by the Census Bureau over the next few weeks.

    Indian Americans Top Asian Group in Largest Metro Areas

    Indian Americans are the largest Asian American population group in most of the largest metropolitan areas in the United States (see Table I), according to 2010 Census data.

    Metro areas are an important benchmark, because spending by federal and state governments, regional agencies, foundations and advertisers are often based on metro boundaries.

    Indian Americans are the largest Asian group in six of the 10 largest metro areas in the U.S. Metro areas where Indians had more residents than any other Asian group in 2010, with the national rankings by population size of metro areas in parentheses, are: Chicago (3), Dallas (4), Philadelphia (5), Washington, D.C. (7) Miami (8) and Atlanta (9).

    Chinese are by far the largest Asian population group in the two largest metro areas – New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island (1) and Los Angeles-Long Beach (2) – and in the Boston-Cambridge-Quincy (10) metro area. Vietnamese are the largest Asian group in the Houston (6) metro area.

    The New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island metro area had 526,133 Indian Americans in 2010, about 18.5 percent of the nation’s total of 2,843,391 Indian Americans, called Asian Indians by Census Bureau data.

    (NOTE: In last week’s India-West article on the Census, the accompanying table omitted the total of Indian Americans in one state, North Carolina, which has 57,400 Indian Americans. In addition, the correct total for Pennsylvania is 103,026, not 103,916. See complete Table II.)

    In the 40 metro areas where Indian Americans have more than 10,000 residents (see Table I), they are the largest Asian group in 27 of the areas (those designated by an *).

    The two metro areas where Indian Americans constitute the highest percentage of their metro area’s total population are: San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Cailf., where 117,711 Indian Americans make up 6.4 percent of the total population of 1,836,911; and Yuba City, Calif., where Indians number 10,947 of the total population of 166,892, a 6.6 percent share. About 59 percent of the 18,525 Asian American residents in the Yuba City metro area are Asian Indians.

    Two areas where Indian Americans are surprisingly dominant among the Asian American population overall are the Chicago and Washington, D.C., metro areas.

    It was not a shock to see that the Chicago-Joliet-Naperville area had the second largest Indian American population of any metro area in the U.S., 171,901 residents. The Chicago metro area, after all, is the third largest in the U.S.

    What was surprising was that Indian Americans are significantly more numerous than any other Asian group in the Chicago area. Filipinos were a distant second with 109,423 counted.

    The Washington, D.C., metro area, which includes Arlington and Alexandria, Va., has 127,963 Indian Americans, ahead of Chinese Americans in second place with 91,291 residents.

    One possible explanation for the influx of Indian Americans is the high tech and government jobs in the metro area. However, not all the Indian Americans counted are recent Obama administration appointees. It just seems that way.

    The major increase in Indian Americans in the South and Southwest (I-W, May 13) is illustrated by metro areas in those regions where Indians are now the largest Asian American group. They include: Dallas-Forth Worth, Atlanta, Austin, Phoenix, Miami, Orlando, Tampa, Raleigh, and San Antonio (See Table I).

    Indian Americans are also the largest Asian group in many large blue-collar metro areas in the Midwest and on the East Coast, including Philadelphia, Detroit, Baltimore, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Indianapolis and Kansas City.

    One factor worthy of note is that the large number of Indian Americans in New Jersey, 292,256 counted in 2010, is split among several major metro areas. Those in Northern New Jersey are included in the New York metro area. Others are in the Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington and Trenton-Ewing areas.

    The breakdown by New York state counties shows that Queens had the most Indian Americans of any county in the state in 2010, 117,550, about 5.3 percent of the county’s total population.

    Indian American totals for other New York counties included: Nassau, 39,572; Kings, 26,144; New York, 25,857; Suffolk, 15,975; and Bronx, 15,865.

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