Data Dive: Metro Atlanta’s Fast-Growing Asian Community

The horrific shootings that recently took place in metro Atlanta followed a wave of violence nationwide in the past year that targeted Asian Americans.

The shootings also brought a national spotlight to our region’s Asian community. Now, let’s go beyond the  headlines and take a closer look at this dynamic, fast-growing part of the Atlanta region. 

The data experts at the Atlanta Regional Commission and Neighborhood Nexus dug into the numbers in a recent post on the 33n blog. Here are some highlights: 

Asian Population Booming

The number of residents in the 10-county Atlanta region has more than doubled in the past two decades, rising from 131,000 in 2000 to 301,000 in 2019, according to the U.S. Census. About one of every 14 residents in the region, or nearly 7%, is of Asian descent, compared to about 4% in 2000. 

And the state’s Asian population is heavily concentrated in metro Atlanta. About 73% of Georgia’s Asian population lives in the 10-county Atlanta region. Here’s a look at the five counties in metro Atlanta with the largest Asian populations: 

County Asian Population (2019) Asian Population (2000)
Gwinnett 106,374 42,360
Fulton 73,129 24,823
DeKalb 45,447 26,718
Cobb 40,271 18,587
Clayton 14,592 10,629
10-county total 300,940 130,982

Concentration in Northeast Suburbs

While Asian residents are spread across the region, areas of highest density are in the northeast suburbs, including North DeKalb, Gwinnett, North Fulton and South Forsyth counties. In several Census tracts, more than half the residents are of Asian descent. 

Check out this map from Neighborhood Nexus. The darker blues are the areas of highest concentration of Asian residents. 

The map pictured shows that the highest density of Asian residents occurs in the northeastern suburbs: North DeKalb, Gwinnett, North Fulton, and South Forsyth counties. 12% of Gwinnett County’s population is Asian.
This map depicts density of Asian population in metro Atlanta by Census tract. Much more data can be found at NeighborhoodNexus.org

Asian Population is Diverse

What exactly do we mean by Asian? It’s a huge land mass made up of many nationalities and ethnicities. According the American Community Survey from the U.S. Census, Asian residents in metro Atlanta identify more than 20 countries of origin. This includes longtime Americans and recent arrivals. 

Asian Indians make more than a third of the region’s total Asian population, followed by Vietnamese, Chinese (mainland) and Korean. 

Nation of origin % of Atlanta region’s Asian population
Asian Indian 34%
Vietnam 15%
China (mainland) 14.5%
Korea 14%
Philippines 4%
Pakistan 3.5%
Japan 2%

Hop on Neighborhood Nexus to Take a Deeper Dive 

Did you know that more than 63,000 people in Gwinnett County speak an Asian language at home? Or that more than 3,100 Asian residents in DeKalb County work at home?  

Use Neighborhood Nexus to take a deeper dive into the data to learn even more about this diverse, dynamic part of metro Atlanta community. 


What’s Next ATL, produced by the Atlanta Regional Commission, is a community resource that explores how metro Atlanta is growing and changing, and how the region is addressing its most pressing challenges.

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