Asian America voters to double in number by 2040 – new UCLA study

/ 12:40 AM May 13, 2015

SAN FRANCISCO — A new study shows that by 2040 the Asian American electorate will more than double in size, growing by 107 percent.

That’s faster than the expected growth of the Asian American population during the same period, which is expected to increase by 74 percent, according to the report released by the UCLA Study for the Center for Inequality and the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS).



The study comes 50 years after the passage of the Immigration & Nationality Act of 1965 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.


“Our report finds that in 2015, there are 20.5 million Asian Americans, and a quarter of a century from now, 35.7 million,” said Paul Ong, director of the UCLA Center on the Study of Inequality, who was quoted by Asamnews.com.

“In 2040, nearly 1 in 10 Americans will be Asian American. During the same period, the number of Asian American registered voters will increase from 5.9 million to 12.2 million,” he added.
According to Elena Ong, the report’s co-author, “In 2040 the Asian American electorate will be different from the one you see today.” She calls this a “multigenerational transformation”; 47 percent will be younger and U.S. born; 53 percent will be older and foreign born.

“These trends have notable implications for Asian American political empowerment [and] significant meaning for the very nature of American politics, said Franklin Gilliam Jr., dean of UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs.


“It has been only recently that researchers have included Asian Americans in the coalition paradigm. The possibility of [inter-ethnic] coalition politics is highly dependent on the issues at play, the composition of the Asian American population in question and, ultimately, the articulation of an Asian American political agenda,” Gilliam explained.

Don Nakanishi, professor emeritus and director emeritus of the UCLA Asian American Studies Center, also pondered how these trends would play out.

“Three scenarios could challenge or disrupt an optimistic view of the political future for Asian America during the 25 years leading up to 2040 — class [differences], partisan skirmishes and controversies and America’s color line,” he said.


The report, which is the first in a series of publications on the future of AAPIs, presents projections of the Asian American population to 2040, with a focus on the electorate.

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TAGS: Asian American voters, Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS), Immigration & Nationality Act of 1965, UCLA Asian American Studies Center, UCLA Luskin School of Public Affair, UCLA Study for the Center for Inequality, US electoral demographics, US electoral politics, US voting trends, Voting Rights Act of 1965
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