Nielson recently released a consumer report that found Asian Americans are expanding their geographic reach to the South and Midwest. Between 2009 and 2014, immigration, relocations and new births have led to a population increase of 33 percent in the South and 29 percent in the Midwest. ( photo)

A report released May 19 has revealed that Asian Americans are the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population. Driven primarily by emigration from China and India, the net immigration of Asians into the U.S. has exceeded the immigration of all other races and ethnicities since 2013.

The Nielson report, titled “Asian-Americans: Culturally Diverse and Expanding Their Footprint,” finds that Asian Americans are expanding their geographic reach to the South and Midwest — beyond traditional immigrant enclaves in the West and Northeast.

Members of this diverse segment are starting businesses, creating jobs and contributing to the U.S. economy, with a current $825 billion in consumer buying power, which is expected to rise to $1.1 trillion by 2020.

As part of Nielsen’s ongoing efforts to provide insights that help marketers better serve Asian American consumers, the report highlights the different ways in which this particular segment is exerting cultural and economic influence on the U.S. mainstream market today through a regional lens.

“If marketers and companies want to be successful, it is imperative they develop growth strategies that account for Asian Americans’ diverse ethnicities to better resonate with the cultural nuances of this unique multicultural community,” said Betty Lo, vice president of Community Alliances and Consumer Engagement at Nielsen.

“U.S. Census projections show that Asian Americans are on track to become the largest immigrant group in the nation by 2055. As entrepreneurs, tech titans and digital content consumers, Asian Americans’ cultural identities will play a unique role in impacting the U.S. economy and marketplace,” Lo added.

Highlights of the Nielson report include:

Geographic Expansion

  • Asian Americans hail from over 40 countries of origin. The majority of recent Asian immigrants migrated to large cities, and 63 percent live in these 15 cities: New York City; Washington, D.C; Newark and Jersey City in New Jersey; Los Angeles, Long Beach, Anaheim, San Francisco, Oakland, Hayward, San Jose, Sunnyvale and Santa Clara in California; and Arlington and Alexandria in Virginia.
  • Between 2009 and 2014, immigration, relocations and new births have led to a population increase of 33 percent (over 1.1million) in the South and 29 percent (538,000) in the Midwest.
  • The South saw the highest growth in Asian American buying power (43 percent) between 2010 and 2015 and is projected to continue to see the highest growth in the next five years.

Entrepreneurial Economic Drivers

  • Of the 87 U.S. start-up companies valued at over $1 billion with the potential to become publicly traded on the stock market, 19 were founded by Asian American immigrants.
  • In the U.S. Census’ recently released Survey of Business Owners, the number of Asian American-owned businesses grew by 24 percent between 2007 and 2012 and claimed the highest percent of sales increase (38 percent) of any racial or ethnic group.
  • Of the 11.6 million Asian Americans in the workforce, about 70 percent are employees of for-profit businesses, 12 percent are government employees, 7 percent work for nonprofits, and 9 percent are self-employed, while 1 percent is unemployed.

Unique Culinary Tastemakers and Environmentally Sustainable Consumers

  • Seventy-nine percent of Asian Americans agree they prefer cooking with fresh food rather than canned or frozen food. On average, Asian Americans purchase 69 percent more fresh seafood, 72 percent purchase more fresh vegetables, and 29 percent purchase more fresh fruits than the general population. Asian American shoppers say they are more likely to buy and pay more for recyclable and eco-friendly products than the general population.
  • More and more consumers of other races and ethnicities are adopting Asian American cooking styles and habits. Items such as soy milk, seaweed, Asian curries and many others are entering mainstream markets.

Tech Titans and Content Consumers

  • Nearly half of Asian Americans watching English TV also watch TV in an Asian language.
  • Asian Americans outpace the general population in ownership of all three major Internet personal devices: smartphones, household computers and tablets. Online purchasing sentiment outpaces the general market as well.
  • Asian Americans take the lead in using multimedia devices, averaging almost twice the minutes per day of the general population; they spend half the time on live TV as the general population. Asian American households have a much lower rate of DVR usage (43 percent) than the general population (62 percent). Sixty-eight percent of Asian American households have subscription video on demand services, a 21 percent higher rate than the general population.

“Without these diverse insights, we would not be aware of the tremendous buying power and cultural influence that Asian Americans have on the mainstream market, which is why it is so important to say ‘yes’ if the opportunity to participate as a Nielsen household arises,” said Nita Song, co-chair of the Nielsen Asian Pacific American External Advisory Council and president of the IW Group.  

For more details and insights, download the complete “Asian-Americans: Culturally Diverse and Expanding Their Footprint” report at

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.