While an increasing Latino population has become a driving cause for diversity and inclusion in the United States, new research suggests that another racial group may be gaining more influence in society.
A new study from the Pew Research Center reports that Asian-Americans are now the fastest-growing group of immigrants within the United States. Asian immigrants in 2010 totaled 36 percent; Latinos totaled 31 percent. It is the first time that Latino immigration was not No. 1.
Data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows similar trends: Between 2000 and 2010, Asian populations experienced the most growth, a 43.3 percent increase to total 14.7 million, or 4.8 percent of the overall population.
Comparatively, the Latino population grew 43.0 percent, the Black population grew 12.3 percent and the white population grew 5.7 percent.
Latinos today make up a significant portion of the current population: They are the second largest group (16.3 percent of the total population) after whites (72.4 percent). By 2050, the Census Bureau projects both Latino and Asian populations to increase. Latinos will total more than 30 percent of the population and Asians will total 7.8 percent.
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What It Means for Diversity & Inclusion
The benefits of this demographic shift present companies with several unique benefits to consider in their overall diversity and inclusion strategy:
- Talent Development: Asian immigrants are highly educated, according to the Pew Research Center: 61 percent of adults ages 25–64 have at least a bachelor’s degree, about double any other immigrant group. Look to improve Asian employees’ retention through talent development and cross-cultural mentoring to increase their skillsets. For more on talent-development best practices, watch our diversity web seminar.
- Unique Values: A larger share of Asians (69 percent) believe that hard work will help them get ahead than the overall population (58 percent), and 93 percent describe their group as “very hard-working” people, compared with 57 percent of the general population. Make sure to give these individuals opportunities for growth, such as through resource groups, where exposure to senior management is more likely. For more on resource groups, read New Resource-Group Research: Hourly Workers, Finding Leaders, Counting Membership.
- Buying Power: Median household wealth ($83,500) and median annual household income ($66,000) are the highest among this group. Companies that extend diversity and inclusion to their marketplace strategy and show cultural competency with consumers stand to considerably improve their customer base. Overall median income in the United States is $49,800: whites total $55,000, followed by Latinos ($40,000) and Blacks ($33,000). For more on marketplace connectivity, watch our Diversity Web Seminar on Resource Groups: Connect With Customers for Top Sales Results.
Read our Asian/Pacific Islander American Facts & Figures for more information on Asian-American history and demographics.