From a marketing perspective, the strength of the Asian population is pretty irrefutable. It’s the largest population in the world, numbering nearly 8 billion as of this writing. In the United States and Canada, Asian Americans have the highest household income of any race or ethnicity. So whether you’re trying to sell shoes in China or home mortgages in Canada, learning about the Asian market is certainly worth your time.

So what is the definition of Asian? It varies from country to country, but the most common definition is a person who descends from East Asia, South Asia, or Southeast Asia. Here are some (but not all) of the groups that are considered Asian:

Chinese Palestinian
Indian Laotian
Filipino Taiwanese
Pakistani Indonesian
Korean Malaysian
Vietnamese Thai
Lebanese Jordanian
Iranian Burmese
Sri Lankan Tibetan
Japanese Sakha
Afghani Mongolian
Syrian Nepali
Iraqi Saudi
Cambodian Yemeni
Bangladeshi Singaporean

The U.S. Asian Population

Current estimates indicate that about 5 percent of the U.S. population reports themselves as having either full or partial Asian heritage (approximately 15 million people). The largest ethnic subgroups are Chinese, Filipinos, Indians, Vietnamese, Koreans, and Japanese. Other sizable groups are Cambodian/Khmer, Pakistanis, Laotians, Hmong, and Thais.

Geographically, the top places in the United States for marketing to Asians are California and New York, because there are large concentrations ...

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