If, after a day of listening to immigrant-hating AM talk radio in Los Angeles, we quizzed you about L.A.'s fastest-growing ethnic group, you'd surely guess those border-crossing Latinos.
You'd be wrong.
A new report by the organization Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles says the growth champion in Los Angeles county is the one comprised of folks of Asian heritage. By far:
The number of Asian Americans grew in the county by a rate of 20 percent between 2000 and 2010, according to the report.
That was almost double the Latino growth rate of 11 percent. Latino growth was almost matched by the 9 percent increase in the number of Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders (NHPI), the organization said.
The total county growth rate for the decade was 3 percent.
Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles breaks out these numbers:
According to data included in the report from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey, there are nearly 930,000 Asian American and 7,700 NHPI immigrants in Los Angeles County; data from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security show more than 310,000 Asian American and 1,300 NHPI immigrants countywide obtained legal permanent resident status between 2000 and 2010. The report estimates that roughly 130,000 Asian Americans in Los Angeles County are undocumented.
Stewart Kwoh, president and executive director of the group:
Our communities are growing and making real contributions to Los Angeles' economy, but many also need help. This growth deepens the urgency of our public policy concerns.
The number of unemployed Asian Americans grew 89 percent during the decade, the organization says.
More than half of those of Tongan descent and about a quarter of Cambodians lived below the poverty line during the period, according to the report.
Kristin Sakaguchi, a research analyst at the group:
Contrary to this myth of Asian Americans and NHPI as the model minority, the data we compiled in this report show tremendous social and economic diversity in our communities here in Los Angeles. Some have achieved success, but others are facing considerable challenges.
Like being exposed to AM talk radio.