August 14, 2019

Location: Harborview Restaurant & Bar
4 Embarcadero Center, Street Level, San Francisco, CA 94111




The West has historically been home to the majority of AAPIs in the United States. Today, 46% of all AAPI live in the Western region. Chinese and Japanese immigrants were some of the first Asian groups to settle into California. Like every other region in the U.S., AAPIs continue to be the fastest growing demographic in the West. While California has traditionally held the highest density of AAPI in the region, recent shifts show that AAPIs are now moving towards other states including Nevada, Colorado, and Arizona. More than any other region, AAPI cultures are best represented in the West. From San Francisco’s historic Chinatown, to smaller ethnic communities across the region. AAPIs have made their mark through their influence on food, arts, and culture.

Southern Snapshot

Southern AAPI Economics

AAPIs are an integral part of the economic markets of the Western U.S. AAPI purchasing power is highest in California, where families contributed $250M into the economy in 2010. AAPI purchasing power in Western states comprised a value of $272B. By 2015, AAPIs contributed $368B into the region’s economy. It is then estimated that through continued population and economic growth of AAPI, that the AAPIs in this region will exceed $472B by 2020.

By 2017, the largest AAPI consumer markets in the West included California, Washington and Hawaii. Californian AAPI grew their purchasing power to over $323B. Although the latter states hold much smaller markets, AAPIs are still contributing $39B into Washington’s economy and $30B in Hawaii.

The median household income of AAPI living in the West is nearly 10% higher than the total population average; AAPIs earn $96.1K while the average population is estimated to earn $87.4K. AAPI owned business sales are varied in the West, yet were still able to grow sales from $182M to $231M between 2007 and 2012.

The healthcare, science & technical, and entertainment & recreation industries employ 38% of all AAPI workers in the West. AAPI business owners continue to thrive in this economic region, where scientific & technical, hospitality & food services, and health care make up 45% of all AAPI owned businesses.

In Arizona, AAPI owned businesses increased 60% between 2002 and 2007. The 16K businesses in this state provided jobs for over 31K people and providing nearly $806M in pay to American households. Purchasing power for Arizonian AAPIs expanded to over $9.2B in 2014. In Hawaii, 57K AAPI-owned businesses employed nearly 112K employees and helped provide $3.5B in payroll. This economic stimulus is estimated to increase AAPI purchasing power in Hawaii’s economy to nearly $35B by 2019. Las Vegas, Nevada’s metro area is another economic hub for AAPIs. 15K AAPI businesses dispensed $539M to 19K employees. Estimates show that the increase in AAPI businesses will grow AAPI purchasing power to $12.6B in Nevada.

In Oregon, one quarter of all AAPI businesses are small businesses with less than 20 employees – a proportion higher than any other racial group. The 13K businesses in Oregon provide nearly $535M in payroll to over 27K Oregonians, allowing this demographic to contribute $8.3B by 2019. In Seattle, Washington’s metro area, AAPIs owned nearly 30K businesses where they were able to pay out $1.3B to 51K employees. Between 2000 and 2014, AAPI purchasing power tripled to $26.4B and is projected to grow $35B by 2019.

Other cities to note include are Phoenix, Mesa, and Scottsdale, which attracted over 33K new Asian American immigrants.