Census Data Shows Growth in Virginia's Asian Population

May 30, 2018

Sang Yi is one of two new City Councilors in Fairfax born in South Korea.
Credit Republican Party of Virginia

New numbers from the Census show an important shift in Virginia, one that might surprise you.

Virginia’s foreign-born population from Asia now outnumbers the foreign born population from Latin America. That’s a huge shift that will likely take many by surprise, although it’s not all that surprising to David Han. He’s the owner of a travel agency that caters to the growing Korean community in Annandale. He says the biggest attraction is Virginia's schools.

“Virginia is well known back in China, Vietnam, Korea, for example, as a center of education. So it’s one of the reasons, I think, that the Asian-American community population is growing here in Virginia. Education.”

On May 1st, Fairfax City elected two new City Council members who were born in South Korea. One of them is Sang Yi, who says he’s seen a dramatic shift in the time that he’s lived in Virginia.

“It was in the 80’s that we saw the first large boom of immigrants. And, as an immigrant, you look around and you want other people like you around too.”

Virginia is one of 12 states where the Asian-born population is larger than the Latin American born population, although most of those states are further north and much smaller.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.