Asian Americans Diets of

Asian Americans represent a large and rapidly growing segment of the U.S. population. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were 11.9 million Asian Americans residing in the United States (4.2 percent of the total population) in the year 2000. Chinese Americans were the leading Asian group

Asian-American diets are based on rice and rice products, with less emphasis on the regular consumption of meat and dairy products, which differs from traditional American fare. [AP/Wide World Photos. Reproduced by permission.]

(not including Taiwanese Americans), followed by Filipinos (2.4 million) and Asian Indians (1.9 million). A U.S. Census estimate predicts a tripling of this population by 2050.

Asian Americans are exceedingly diverse, coming from nearly fifty countries and ethnic groups, each with distinct cultures, traditions, and histories, and they speak over 100 languages and dialects. Asian Americans have immigrated to the United States from different parts of Asia, including India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, China, Hong Kong, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, Korea, and Japan. They are categorized by the Census Bureau under the broad classification of "Asian and Pacific Islanders in the United States." In 2000, Asian-born residents accounted for 26 percent (7.2 million) of the nation's total foreign-born population, with approximately half (about 45%) of them living in three metropolitan areas: Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco.

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