Little India: Overseas Indian, NRI, Asian Indian, Indian American

Namaste America!

Asian Indians have emerged as the fastest-growing ethnic group in the United States, growing seven times faster than the national average in the last decade.

Census 2010 data shows that the Asian Indian population ballooned 69 percent from 2000, to 2,843,391. Thus far, the Census Bureau has released Asian Indian data only for those who reported a single race. When multiracial Indians (those who reported multiple racial identities) are factored in the Asian Indian population will top 3.2 million, according to Little India analysis.

Nearly 12 percent of the Asian Indian population in the 2000 Census was multiracial.

Little India projects that the final count for the Asian Indian population, including multiracial Indians, will fall between 3.2 million to 3.3 million. The Indian population may well have touched 3.5 million, but an estimated 150,000 to 200,000 Indians returned to India in recent years after the U.S. economy was jolted by the global financial meltdown.

Indian population growth (69%) outpaced all the major racial groups by a significant margin, including Chinese (45%), who were the second-fastest growing, Asians as a group (43%), Hispanics (43%) African Americans (12%) and Whites, whose 6% growth rate fell below the national average of 10%.

California, New York and New Jersey retained their rankings as states with the largest Indian concentrations. Michigan fell several notches to lose its spot among the top 10 Indian states. Eight states recorded Indian populations in excess of 100,000, including, beside the top three, Texas, Illinois, Florida, Virginia and Pennsylvania.

Arkansas (157%) experienced the greatest growth in the Indian population between 2000 and 2010, but as it had a small starting base, its Indian population is under 8,000. It was followed by Washington (155%) and Arizona (145%). The Indian population doubled in seven other states in the past decade: Virginia, Georgia, North Carolina, Nevada, Delaware, New Hampshire and Utah.

New Jersey (3.3%) has the highest proportion of Asian Indians in the country, more than three times the national average of 0.9%. It is followed by New York (1.6%), Illinois (1.5%) and California (1.4%).

The New York metro (526,133) has by far the largest Indian concentration, accounting for nearly a fifth of the Asian Indian population in the United States. Five other metros recorded more than 100,000 Indians, including Chicago, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose and Dallas. Yuba City, Calif., metro has the highest proportion of Indians (6.6%).

Three U.S. counties reported more than 100,000 Indians — Santa Clara, Calif., Queens, N.Y. and Middlesex, N.J. Nearly one in eight residents of Middlesex County is Indian, the highest proportion of any county in the country. Sutter County, Calif., is the only other county that is more than 10 percent Indian.

Among cities, New York has the largest Indian population in the United States, followed by San Jose, Fremont, Los Angeles and Chicago. However, the places with the highest proportion of Indians are Loudon Valley Estates, Va. (42%), and Iselin, N.J. (37%). Four of the five places with the highest proportion of Indians are in New Jersey, including Plainsboro Center, Ten Mile Run and Dayton. In all, Indians constitute at least 10 percent of the population in 78 areas, the vast plurality of them in New Jersey.

As the Indian population expands, the community’s political clout is being reflected in congressional districting data. New York’s Congressional District 6, covering Southeastern Queens, has both the largest number (55,411) and proportion (8.5%) of Indians. It is represented by Democrat Gregory W. Meeks, who coasted to victory in 2010 with nearly 88% of the vote. Meeks’ powerbase is African American and he has shown little interest or involvement in Asian Indian causes. Other Congressional districts with high Indian concentrations are California’s District 13, covering Alameda and Santa Clara countries, represented by Democrat Pete Stark and District 15, covering San Jose and Cupertino, represented by Democrat Mike Honda. Three of New Jersey’s Congressional districts, each covering parts of Middlesex County, have more than 6 percent Indian concentrations: District 12, represented by Democrat Rush Holt; District 7, represented by Republican Leonard Lance; and District 6, represented by Democrat Frank Pallone.

State Percent Population
New Jersey 3.3 292256
New York 1.6 313620
Illinois 1.5 188328
California 1.4 528176
Maryland 1.4 79051
Connecticut 1.3 46415
Delaware 1.3 11424
Virginia 1.3 103916
Massachusetts 1.2 77177
Georgia 1 96116
Texas 1 245981
Source: U.S. Census 2010