Although migrants from Asia have been in parts of the contemporary United States since the 17th century, large-scale immigration did not begin until the mid-19th century. Nativist immigration laws during the 1880sâ1920s excluded various Asian groups, eventually prohibiting almost all Asian immigration to the continental United States. After immigration laws were reformed during the 1940sâ60s, abolishing national origins quotas, Asian immigration increased rapidly. Analyses of the 2010 census have shown that Asian Americans are the fastest growing racial or ethnic minority in the United States.
Asian Americans are Americans of Asian ancestry. The term refers to a panethnic group that includes diverse populations, which have origins in East Asia, South Asia, or Southeast Asia, as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau. This includes people who indicate their race(s) on the census as 'Asian' or reported entries such as 'Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Korean, Japanese, Vietnamese, and Other Asian'. In 2017, Asian Americans comprised 5.6% of the U.S. population; including multiracial Asian Americans, that percentage increases to 6.9%.