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Asian Population In Philadelphia Growing Exponentially, Census Says

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By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - New analysis of census figures shows that the percentage of Asians in Philadelphia’s immigrant community has increased seven-fold over the last 40 years.

In the United States, the majority of immigrants come from Latin America and the Caribbean — 53 percent out of all groups. But, according to Amanda Bergson-Shilcock of the Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians, the majority of Philadelphia area immigrants come from Asia, the result of years of growth.

“In 1970, six percent of the immigrants in the Philadelphia region were from Asia. Today, that number is 40-percent.”

Bergson-Shilcock says the growth has been steady, first fueled by the resettlement of southeast Asian refugees, now driven more by higher ed.

“People come here for college or graduate school and they often stay.”

She says about five percent of the region’s population is Asian and two-thirds of them are immigrants. They come from 30 countries, with the largest group– 31 percent– coming from India.