The Asian American Federation of Florida (AAFF) is a 501(c)(3) coalition that aims to unity and collaboration among the various Asian Pacific American organizations and to improve the relationship of a culturally diverse Asian Pacific American community in Florida. The AAFF is a statewide organization made up of more than 70 Bangladesh, Burmese, Cambodian, Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Iranian, Korean, Laotian, Taiwanese, Thai, Turkish and Vietnamese community-based organizations, businesses and media.


Asian Americans and NHPI are the fastest-growing racial groups in the South.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the South’s Asian American population grew 69% between 2000 and 2010; its NHPI population grew 66%. In comparison, the region’s Latino population grew 57%. Among Asian American and NHPI ethnic groups, Fijian Americans are by far the fastest growing, increasing 257% between 2000 and 2010. Bangladeshi, Pakistani, Hmong, and Sri Lankan American populations all more than doubled over the same period. Among Southern states, the Asian American population in North Carolina was the region’s fastest growing, while the NHPI population in Arkansas grew fastest. As these increasingly diverse communities continue to grow, it is important that service providers and policy makers work to address their changing needs.

Asian Americans and NHPI contribute significantly to the economy through job creation, business ownership, and consumer spending.
Data from the Census Bureau’s Survey of Business Owners show that there are over 70,000 Asian American–owned businesses in the Washington, DC metropolitan area that employ over 130,000 people. The 38,000 Asian American– owned businesses in Dallas generate over $11 billion in annual revenue. Among consumers, Asian American and   NHPI buying power more than doubled in Florida, Georgia, Texas, and the two states in which the Washington, DC metropolitan area resides, Maryland and Virginia. Federal, state, and local agencies should provide high-quality, language-appropriate small business training programs and services for Asian American and NHPI business owners.

Political power in Asian American and NHPI communities has grown through increased naturalization and voter participation.
Across the South, Asian Americans and NHPI have made significant gains in civic engagement. Asian American immigrants are more likely to have become citizens: data from the U.S. Census Bureau show that a majority
or near majority of Asian American immigrants in Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Miami, and the Washington, DC metropolitan area have naturalized. Asian American electorates in Florida, Georgia, Texas, Maryland, and Virginia are among the fastest growing. Between 2004 and 2012, the number of Asian Americans who were registered   to vote in Virginia increased 136%; the number who cast ballots increased 180%. Yet Asian Americans and

NHPI living in the South have yet to reach their full potential as participants in the political process. Federal, state, and local agencies and elected officials should increase their investment in community building and civic engagement efforts targeting Asian Americans and NHPI in partnership with community-based organizations. They should also facilitate the provision of written and oral assistance to voters in Asian and Pacific Island languages, and strengthen, monitor, and enforce voter protection laws.

Immigration continues to shape and fuel the growth of Asian American and NHPI communities in the South. Roughly two-thirds of Asian Americans in Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Miami, and the Washington, DC metropolitan area are foreign-born; no community in the South is more immigrant. In Washington, DC alone, there are nearly 450,000 Asian Americans and 2,400 NHPI who were born outside the United States, comprising 65% and 21%  of their respective populations. Those from Asia and the Pacific Islands are becoming an increasingly large proportion of all immigrants settling in the South. Data from the Department of Homeland Security show large numbers arriving from India, Vietnam, China, the Philippines, and Pakistan. The South is also the new home for many refugees from Asian countries, principally Burma and Bhutan. Federal, state, and local governments should direct adequate resources toward the integration of growing Asian American and Pacific Islander immigrant communities. Meanwhile, Congress and the president must address the broken immigration system through comprehensive reform legislation and executive action.