News: Asian American Electorate Expected to Double by 2040

April 26, 2017 - 4:00pm

The half-century journey of the Immigration & Naturalization Act of 1965 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 continues to transform, and be a beacon of hope for, America’s social and political fabric. As we commemorate these Acts, and celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, it is a time to reflect on the remarkable accomplishments and contributions made by Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs), and a time to envision the challenges and opportunities of the next 25 years.

A new study released by the UCLA Study for the Center for Inequality and the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS) shows that while the Asian American population will grow by 74% between 2015 and 2040, the Asian American electorate will more than double, and grow by 107%.

According to Paul Ong, Director of the UCLA Center on the Study of Inequality, “Our report finds that in 2015, there are 20.5 million Asian Americans, and a quarter of a century from now, 35.7 million. In 2040, nearly 1 in 10 Americans will be Asian American. During the same period, the number of Asian American registered voters will increase from 5.9 million to 12.2 million.”

According to Elena Ong, the report’s co-author, “The Asian American electorate will emerge from 4% today, to 7%, six presidential cycles from now. The Asian American vote is not a monolith. It’s important to look at the underlying demographic characteristics -- Asian American registered voters by age, and by where they were born. Today, 62% of the Asian American electorate are naturalized citizens, but over the next quarter of century, there will be a multigenerational transformation. By 2040, 47% will be younger and U.S. born, and 53% will be older and foreign-born.”

This report, which is the first of a series of publications on the future of AAPIs, presents projections of the Asian American population to 2040, with a focus on the electorate. This project is designed to provide detailed projections that serve as a basis for developing a vision to guide the development of legislation, policies and programs that would address the concerns and priorities of this rapidly growing population. This report is the first in a series of publications that explore the key demographic dimensions that can shape the future of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

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