u.s. census data: aapis are 15.5% of california's population

This week was pretty big for California demographers... On Tuesday, the U.S. Census Bureau released the first detailed set of statewide numbers from the 2010 census, and man, it looks like there are a lot of freaking AAPIs in California. I mean, we knew there were a lot, but the population is even bigger than you thought -- and it's growing fast.

According to a preliminary analysis of the data conducted by the Asian Pacific American Legal Center, Asian American and Pacific Islanders now constitute 15.5% of California's population, compared to 12.8% in 2000.

Statewide, the AAPI population grew from 4,321,585 in 2000 to 5,556,592 in 2010. That's 33.6% growth in the last decade. Compare that to California's overall population, which grew from 33,871,648 in 2000 to 37,253,956 in 2010, representing 10.0% growth.

These AAPI population numbers include people reporting a single race, as well as people reporting two or more races. While many media outlets have been reporting total AAPI population figures -- based on people reporting only a single race -- as 12.8%, APALC's numbers provide a more complete and inclusive count of AAPIs.

Basically, when you break it down, Asians now make up 12.8% of California's population, but actually closer to 15.5% when Pacific Islanders and people of mixed race are included. This is important because Asians are "disproportionately multiracial": Census: A More Diverse California Means Big Political Changes Ahead.

So what does this all mean? These population numbers have significant implications for how state voting lines are redrawn, and the sheer size of the AAPI population means we can't be ignored in this process: Census may shift political power in California to minorities and the interior.

Figures presented here are from Census 2010 data, which the Census Bureau has been releasing on a state-by-state basis, available here. For more information, and further details on the redistricting process, read APALC's full press release here.

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