Asian American eligible voter population surges 139 percent, report says

Asian American eligible voter population surges 139 percent, report says
© Getty

The number of eligible Asian American voters has surged by 139 percent in the last 20 years, according to a Pew Research report released Thursday. 

Asian Americans are the fastest-growing segment of eligible voters out of the major racial and ethnic groups in the U.S., with more than 11 million people able to vote this year, according to the report. 

Over the same 20-year span, from 2000 to 2020, the Hispanic electorate grew at a similar rate of 121 percent, but the black and white electorates grew more slowly at 33 percent and 7 percent, respectively, according to Pew’s report. 

ADVERTISEMENT

The growth in the Asian electorate is driven by naturalized immigrants. They are the only major racial ethnic group in the U.S. in which naturalized citizens, rather than U.S. born citizens, make up a majority of eligible voters based on Pew’s analysis of Census Bureau Data. 

According to Pew, Asian Americans are projected to make up a record high 4.7 percent of U.S. eligible voters this year. However, the share is still lower than nation’s total Asian American population of 5.6 percent. 

Pew noted the difference is partly due to the 4.5 million Asian adult immigrants who aren't citizens and therefore unable to vote, including green card holders and those in the process of becoming permanent residents. 

Christine Chen, the executive director of APIAVote which aims to mobilize Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, told NBC the group can influence some races and swing districts. 

"If candidates work to reach out to our communities — many of which have low English proficiency — and work to push issues they care about, we could definitely see an impact in November," Chen told NBC Asian America.