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Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Part 1: The rise of the Asian population in America

By November 16, 2012August 19th, 20202 Comments


You probably know that UCLA is the acronym for the University of California Los Angeles. You may not be familiar with the other UCLA acronym: the University of Caucasians Lost among Asians. I’m guessing you either found that moniker A) insulting, juvenile or stupid; or B) you just LOL’d. If you fall in the latter camp, I’m guessing you might be Asian. As an East Indian, I laughed when I first heard the acronym as a grad student at USC. I laughed not because I’m a Trojan (by the way, I’m a Seattle native – I’m not as emotionally invested in the UCLA-USC rivalry like my Angelino counterparts) but because it strikingly captures the rise of the Asian population in America.

In July 2012, the Pew Research Center released a comprehensive report, “The Rise of Asian Americans” detailing the demographic characteristics of the Asian American population. Here are just a handful of facts and statistics found in the report:

  • Asians account for 6% of the US population
  • The six largest Asian American subgroups are Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Vietnamese, Korean and Japanese
  • Asians are the “best-educated, highest-income, fastest-growing race group in the country” – that’s a nice target, folks.
  • Asians value “marriage, parenthood, hard work, and career success” more than other Americans
  • Asians are more likely than any other ethnic group “to live in mixed neighborhoods and marry across racial lines”; 37% of Asian brides wed a non-Asian groom 
  • In 2009, Asians passed Hispanics as the largest group immigrating into the United States
  • Over 60% of the Asian adult immigrant population, between the ages to 25-64, holds a bachelor’s degree

“Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” is a play on the Chinese idiom “Hidden Dragon, Crouching Tiger.” It’s a learning tool meant to remind us that people have hidden talents and you should never underestimate anyone.  As marketing practitioners, do not underestimate the purchasing power of the burgeoning Asian population in America.

In Part II of the Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon series, I will discuss how to reach the Asian American Market.



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