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Analysis: Every 10 years, governments across the nation redraw their political boundaries based on population shifts measured by the Census. San Diego recently approved its new City Council boundaries, spurring VOSD and other local media to gauge the plan’s winners and losers.
Advocates for San Diego’s Asian population were among those who didn’t get all they wanted — a council district around Mira Mesa with as large an Asian population as they sought. But Chan, in an interview with KUSI, sounded optimistic. He claimed Asians are San Diego’s fastest growing minority and said the redistricting process helped raise awareness of their greater influence in the city.
“We have no voice at all in the city and at least this time we got recognized so people have a sense of belonging,” Chan told KUSI. “More and more Asians will get involved with us.”
We turned to the latest population estimates and found that Chan’s description of Asian’s growth checks out. In the last decade, San Diego’s Asian population grew by 24 percent — more than other large minority groups. The city’s Hispanic population grew by 21 percent.
The city’s Hispanic population (374,968) still outnumbers its Asian population (204,010).
One notable caveat: The census defines Asian as a race and Hispanic — the category often used to describe Latinos — as an ethnicity. The son of a Chinese man and Mexican woman could identify himself as both Asian and Hispanic in the Census.
The percentages above count all Hispanic people and then separate all non-Hispanic people into racial categories like Asian. That means the son in our scenario would be counted in the Hispanic group but not the Asian group, even though he identified with both.
It also means 21 percent represents an accurate estimate of Hispanic growth in the last decade while 24 percent represents an underestimate of Asian growth. It’s low because it doesn’t include any Asians who may identify themselves as Hispanic.
Still, the city’s Asian population swelled by greater margins than other minority groups so Chan’s statement is true.
If you disagree with our determination or analysis, please express your thoughts in the comments section of this blog post. Explain your reasoning.
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