A growing number of “majority-Asian suburbs”

Here is a look at “majority-Asian suburbs“:

In 2000, researchers discovered that 52 percent of immigrants in metropolitan areas were living in suburbs. One facet of this transformation has attracted less scrutiny: over the last quarter century, hundreds of thousands of Asian migrants have arrived in the suburbs.

The best place to witness this rapid transformation is in the suburbs east of central Los Angeles, an area known as the San Gabriel Valley. In 1980, few would have imagined that the region would today be a cluster of majority and near-majority Asian suburbs…

The rapid Asianization of suburbanization occurred alongside steady Latino migration. In some San Gabriel Valley suburbs, the new Asian arrivals lived alongside Latinos (both multi-generational and immigrants) and whites. In these “tri-ethnic” suburbs, demographic transitions were often marked by some tension. In other suburbs, the neighbors of the new Asian arrivals were mostly white. (More disturbingly, with a few major exceptions like Pasadena, black households typically made up less than 5 percent of households in these suburbs.)…

The uniqueness of this pattern of suburbanization cannot be overemphasized. In 2010, of the 29,514 geographic areas across the country defined as “places” by the United States Census Bureau – which typically correspond to recognized cities, towns, suburbs, and other, mostly unincorporated, areas – only 37, or 0.1 percent, were majority-Asian. If one considers places where the percentage of Asian households is 25 percent or higher, still only 183 places—0.6 percent of the total—meet the cutoffAll 183 places are in about a dozen states, most of which contain only a handful of them, and the vast majority are small places with fewer than 10,000 households. California is the enormous exception: the state alone has almost forty places with more than 10,000 households and an Asian household percentage of at least 25 percent. Hawaii, the only other state with multiple places meeting these criteria, has just five.

This is a good introduction to the topic but if you want more detail, check out the academic literature on ethnoburbs as people have been tracking this phenomenon since at least the late 1990s. Wei Lei has a book titled Ethnoburb: The New American Community that is quite interesting and takes a closer look at a number of these majority-Asian suburbs outside Los Angeles.

A reminder: the suburbs have become increasingly non-white in recent decades.

One thought on “A growing number of “majority-Asian suburbs”

  1. Pingback: Chinese homebuyers flood LA suburb with big homes | Legally Sociable

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