Resources and Fact Sheets


Quick Facts

About South Asians in the US

  • There are over 4.3 mil­lion South Asians in the US.
  • Since 2000 the South Asian com­mu­ni­ty as a whole grew 81% over a ten year period.
  • The four largest South Asian groups in Amer­i­ca are the Indi­an, Pak­istani, Bangladeshi, and Sri Lankan communities.

Where do South Asians in the US live?

  • South Asians live pri­mar­i­ly in met­ro­pol­i­tan areas on the East and West coasts. The met­ro­pol­i­tan areas with the largest South Asian pop­u­la­tion are: New York/New Jer­sey, San Fran­cis­co Bay Area, Chica­go, Los Ange­les and the Wash­ing­ton DC Metro Area.
  • In New York City, the Indi­an, Pak­istani, and Bangladeshi com­mu­ni­ties are among the six largest Asian Amer­i­can groups.
  • South Asians were also the fastest grow­ing Asian group in Cal­i­for­nia in 2000.
  • There are siz­able emerg­ing pop­u­la­tions in var­i­ous parts of the Unit­ed States, includ­ing Hous­ton, Atlanta, and Seattle.

Immigration Status, Naturalization, English Proficiency

  • Over three-quar­ters of the South Asian pop­u­la­tion is foreign-born
  • 30% of South Asians are naturalized
  • 45% of South Asians are not naturalized
  • Indi­ans were the fastest grow­ing undoc­u­ment­ed com­mu­ni­ty in the Unit­ed States between 2000 and 2006
  • Accord­ing to the 2000 US Cen­sus, 1/3 of South Asians liv­ing between 50%-125% of the pover­ty line are chil­dren. Near­ly two-thirds of Bangladeshi seniors live below 200% of the pover­ty line
  • Lim­it­ed Eng­lish Pro­fi­cient (LEP) denotes indi­vid­u­als whose abil­i­ty to read, write, speak or under­stand Eng­lish is rat­ed less than “very well”. Near­ly half of Bangladeshis, a third of Pak­ista­nis and a quar­ter of Indi­ans are LEP.