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The Rise of the Majority-Asian Suburb

In southern California, the number of Asian suburbs is growing rapidly.
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In the last several decades, the myth of the homogenous suburb has eroded. This is especially true for immigrants. In 2000, researchers discovered that 52 percent of immigrants in metropolitan areas were living in suburbs. One facet of this transformation has attracted less scrutiny: over the last quarter century, hundreds of thousands of Asian migrants have arrived in the suburbs.

The best place to witness this rapid transformation is in the suburbs east of central Los Angeles, an area known as the San Gabriel Valley. In 1980, few would have imagined that the region would today be a cluster of majority and near-majority Asian suburbs. Here’s a demographic snapshot of the Valley in 1980: