New York, Los Angeles, and San Jose, Calif. had the largest numbers of people of Asian descent.
New York, Los Angeles, and San Jose, Calif. had the largest numbers of people of Asian descent.

By Stephanie Siek, CNN

(CNN) –  The Asian proportion of the United States population grew faster than any other racial group, according to “The Asian Population: 2010,” a census brief released Wednesday.

People of Asian descent in America represent a booming and diverse section of the population. “Asian” was defined as any person whose ancestry originates among the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia or the Indian subcontinent - including countries such as China, Japan, North Korea, South Korea, Thailand, India, Pakistan, the Philippines and Vietnam.

Between the 2000 Census and 2010 Census, the number of people identifying as Asian or Asian plus another race rose 45.6%, yielding a total of 17.3 million people. The U.S. population as a whole grew by 9.7%

All of the U.S. states had increases in Asian population of at least 30%, except for Hawaii (where people of Asian descent make up more than half of the total population), which had growth of 11%.

Nicholas A. Jones, head of the Census’ Racial Statistics Branch, told callers in a webinar presenting the results that the major factor in the growth of America’s Asian population was fueled by several factors, but the most significant was international migration – people moving to the United States from other countries.

The 2010 census also provided data about ethnicities claimed by Asian respondents. Four million respondents identified as Chinese or Chinese in combination with another race or ethnicity, forming the largest single ethnic group. In second place were Filipinos, with 3.4 million. There were 3.2 million Asian Indian respondents, and Vietnamese, Korean and Japanese respondents each numbered one million or more.

Asians and Asian-Americans were widely distributed in cities throughout the United States, but higher proportions were found on the coasts. The New York City metropolitan area had the highest number of Asians in the U.S., with 1.1 million. New York’s most numerous Asian ethnicities were Asian Indian and Chinese. Next largest came Los Angeles(484,000, with Chinese and Filipino forming the biggest subgroups) and San Jose, Calif.(327,000, the most of whom were Asian Indian, Chinese, Filipino or Vietnamese).

Almost half (46.2%) of the people reporting Asian descent lived in the western region of the country, 22.1% lived in the South, 19.8% in the Northeast, and 11.9% in the Midwest.

Among the 2.6 million people who reported themselves as being both Asian and another race, most (61.3%) listed “white” as the other part of their makeup. Just under 9% identified themselves as Asian plus “some other race,” 7% reported that they were Asian and African-American or Black, 6.3% as Asian and Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, 5.4% as Asian, White and Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, and 11.1 percent identified as some other combination which included Asian. Of people who reported being one or more races and/or one or more Asian ethnicities, 41% reported a Japanese component of their heritage.