Economic Contributions and Growth of Asian American and Pacific Islanders in the U.S.

Author: 
NAE
Date of Publication: 
April, 2021
Source Organization: 
New American Economy

Key Findings

  • Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) are the fastest growing minority in the United States. Between 2010 and 2019, the AAPI population grew by 25.5 percent. About one-fifth of all U.S. population growth is attributable to Asian and Pacific Islanders.
  • Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders now make up 5.8 percent of the U.S. population, or 19.1 million people. This includes almost 12.4 million AAPI immigrants, or 3.8 percent of the U.S. population. 
  • While immigrants make up around two-thirds of the AAPI population, U.S.-born Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are now growing faster than the foreign-born population. 
  • Chinese Americans were the largest AAPI group in the United States, numbering almost 4.2 million, and making up 22.2 percent of the total AAPI population. Among AAPI immigrants, the most common country of birth was India, with almost 2.6 million Indian-born Americans.
  • In 2019 alone, AAPI households earned more than $783.7 billion in income. This allowed them to pay more than $167.9 billion in federal income taxes and almost $72.5 billion in state and local taxes. After taxes, AAPI households still held a considerable amount of spending power—$543.4 billion.
  • Given that many U.S.-born Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are still relatively young, the vast majority of AAPI earning power and tax contributions are from AAPI immigrants. In 2019, AAPI immigrants earned more than $612 billion in income, paid almost $130.1 billion in federal income taxes, more than $56.5 billion in state and local taxes, and held $425.6 billion in spending power. 
  • While Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders make up 5.8 percent of the U.S. population, they account for 7.7 percent of all federal income tax paid and 6.8 percent of total spending power in the United States.
  • This however, does not mean that all Asian and Pacific Islanders enjoy great wealth. The AAPI community, and AAPI immigrants in particular, suffer from high levels of income inequality. AAPI workers in the top 10 percent of the income distribution earned 9.6 times what AAPIs in the bottom 10 percent did. For white workers, this ratio is much lower at 7.8, and even lower for Hispanic Americans at 7.5. 

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Citation: 

NAE (2021, Arpil 27). Economic Contributions and Growth of Asian American and Pacific Islanders in the U.S. New American Economy. https://research.newamericaneconomy.org/report/aapi-community-contributions-population-growth/

 

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