U.Va. Demographers Find Virginia's Asian Population Highly Educated, Growing Rapidly in Metropolitan Areas

May 24, 2011 — Virginia's Asian population has increased by almost 70 percent over the last decade, according to a release by demographers at the University of Virginia's Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service.  

"Asians in Virginia" headlines the latest edition of Stat Chat, a regular digest discussing demographic issues of current interest published by the Cooper Center's Demographics & Workforce Group. The Stat Chat presents analysis of the latest 2010 U.S. Census and 2009 American Community Survey data and includes these findings:

•    Virginia now ranks ninth in the nation for Asian population, while the state ranks 12th for population overall;
•    While Virginia's Asian population is growing, this growth is concentrated in metropolitan areas;
•    Virginia's Asian population is highly educated, with more than half having a bachelor's degree or higher.

"Asians, like the population overall, are concentrated in Virginia's metropolitan areas," said Susan Clapp, author of the Stat Chat edition and senior demographer for the Demographics & Workforce Group. "They are concentrated in Northern Virginia, with 71 percent of the state's Asian population residing there."

The data analysis also found that Asians tend to hold high-paying occupations, such as computer software engineers, accountants or auditors, and computer scientists or system analysts, leading to higher median household incomes among Asians than among Virginia's population as a whole. 

Qian Cai, director of the Demographics & Workforce Group, said: "While cultural and language differences may present challenges to optimal career development for Asians, especially immigrants, high levels of educational attainment enable them to make significant contributions to Virginia's economy and workforce quality."

Data from this study will also be available in the Demographics & Workforce Group’s new interactive data map available here.

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