Asian Americans in Wisconsin - Overview

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"Asian" refers to a person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian subcontinent, including Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippine Islands, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam1. The Asian population is heterogeneous, rich with various cultures, values, languages, religions, and traditions.

As of 2008, the Asian population constituted 15.5 million, or 5 percent, of America's population of 307 million2. The percentage of individuals, ages 5 and up, who do not speak English in their home varies by sub-group: 52 percent of Vietnamese, 46 percent of Chinese, 22 percent of Filipinos and 21 percent of Asian Indians are not fluent in English3.

According to the 2012 Census data, about 86 percent of Asians, as well as of the overall United States population 25 and older, had at least a high school diploma4. Additionally, 50 percent of Asian Americans held a bachelor's degree5. About 77 percent of Taiwanese have attained a bachelor's degree, the highest population among Asian subgroups6. Asian households had the highest median income of all races in 2007, $66,103, about 120 percent of the median for non-Hispanic White households7

Wisconsin Population 

Wisconsin's Asian population totaled 121,549 in 2008, which was 4.4% of the State total of 5,672,297. The Asian population has increased 26.1% since the 2000 Census8

The largest Asian groups in Wisconsin, based on the 2000 U.S. Census, were Hmong, Asian Indian, and Chinese9. In 2000, 67 percent of Asians in Wisconsin were foreign-born. Two-thirds of Wisconsin's Asian population lives in Milwaukee, Dane, Waukesha, Marathon, Brown, and Sheboygan counties10. Milwaukee County is home to 31,171 Asians, comprising 25.6% of Wisconsin's Asian population11

Wisconsin's Asian population is relatively young, with a median age of 26.8 years in 2008, compared to 38.2 years for the total state population12. Thirty-four percent of Asians were under age 18, compared to 23 percent of the state population13. Also, while 13% of Wisconsin's population was age 65+, only 5% of the Asian population was 65 or older14. Males constitute 49.9% of this population, compared to 49.7% of  the state population in 200815.


Health Facts

Additional Information

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  3. Ibid.
  4. Ibid.
  5. Ibid.
  6. Ibid.
  8. Minority Health Profile, created by the Minority Health Program
  9. Wisconsin Minority Health Report: 2001-2005
  10. Ibid.
  11. Ibid.
  12. U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey
  13. Minority Health Profile, created by the Minority Health Program
  14. Ibid.
  15. Ibid.

Additional Information About Asian Americans in Wisconsin:

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Last Revised: November 27, 2015