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Asian American Center

About the Center

Asian Americans in the Metro Boston Community

The Asian American community is the largest growing ethnic minority group in Massachusetts. In 2000, the Metro Boston Asian American population was 223,424, comprising over 4% of the total Metro Boston population. Expanding by a rate of 70% over the course of the 1990s, there are now over twenty cities and towns within Metro Boston that count at least 2000 Asian Americans as part of their communities. This is compared to an overall growth rate of less than 6% for the overall population of Boston. When looking at specific ethnic groups within the Asian American population, the drastic changes taking place are even more pronounced. The Hmong population, for example, has increased by a remarkable 355%, Indians by 129.4%, and the Vietnamese community by over 117%. While the Chinese American population remains the largest ethnic group within the Asian American community in Boston, the growing presence of numerous other ethnic groups, such as the Cambodian and Laotian community in Lowell, the Vietnamese population in Boston, and the Indian, Japanese, and Korean communities throughout the area, has created a vibrant and diverse landscape in many towns and cities throughout the area. For more information about the Asian American community in the metro Boston area, please refer to the report published by UMASS Boston's Institute for Asian American Studies which can be downloaded here.

Presence of Asian American students at Northeastern, Past and Present

Similar to the surrounding Boston community, Northeastern's Asian American student population has steadily increased over the past ten years. Presently, the Asian American undergraduate student population is the largest of the identified minority student populations on campus, falling slightly below 8 percent, and approximately 1100 students. An increase of 74% between 1995 and 2004, the Asian American student population has also seen consistent increase in both its size and percentage of overall student populations in undergraduate, graduate, and law school enrollment, please see chart below. It is anticipated that Asian American students will account for 10% of the incoming Freshman class in the Fall of 2005.

  • Asian or Pacific Islander Enrollment Information [1995-2004] (PDF)

Due to limitations in what data can be collected regarding an individual's ethnic/racial identification, it is difficult to list the specific ethnic groups that are represented at any given time at Northeastern. Through a variety of informal measures, it is clear that currently, there are students within the Asian American population at Northeastern who self-identify as one or more of the following: Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Indian, Filipino, Hmong, Indonesian, Pakistani, and Iranian. Specific statistics about each individual ethnic group, including their overall representation in individual years, is not available. With new data collecting instruments now available through the Admissions Office and the Office of Institutional Research, the Center hopes to begin gathering expanded information that includes the variables of ethnicity, multiracial identity, and citizenship.

For employment data and Asian American representation within faculty, staff, and executive, please contact Northeastern's Office of Institutional Research.

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