After more than a decade of decreasing immigration from Latin America, recent Census Bureau data from 2013 reveal that more immigrants to the U.S. are coming from China and India than from Mexico.

The Census Bureau recorded a total of 19.4 million Asian Americans in the U.S. in 2013 (including those who were born here). In 2011,  the most recent year for which specific data are available, the number of foreign-born Asians in the U.S. was 11.6 million. Of those, approximately 58 percent were naturalized U.S. citizens. This compares with 40 percent of the overall foreign-born population who were naturalized.

In 2011, the states with the highest percentage of foreign-born Asians were Hawaii (14 percent), California (10 percent) and New Jersey (7 percent). The top countries of origin were China, with more than 2.2 million foreign-born people in the U.S., followed by India and the Philippines, each with more than 1.8 million.

According to Department of Homeland Security data, the largest number of immigrants who became citizens in 2013 were from Asia — almost 276,000, with India (almost 50,000), the Philippines (43,000) and China (35,000) leading the list of countries of origin.

Immigrants from Asia spend, on average, six years in permanent resident status before naturalizing. This is lower than the national average of seven years, but Asians are not the quickest to naturalize: Immigrants from Africa tend to naturalize as soon as they have met the residency requirement of five years.

In some New Americans Campaign cities, the countries of origin of Asian immigrant groups with the greatest numbers naturalizing, according to the 2013 Yearbook of Immigration Statistics, are:

  • New York City: China, India and Bangladesh
  • Los Angeles: The Philippines, Vietnam and China
  • Houston: India, Vietnam and Pakistan
  • San Jose: India, Vietnam and the Philippines

With much smaller populations of Asian immigrants, the top countries of origin for Asian-Americans becoming naturalized in Detroit are India, Pakistan and the Philippines, and in Charlotte, the top countries are India, Vietnam and the Philippines.