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Asian presence soars in California wine country

Newly released ethnicity data from the 2020 Census shows that Asian Americans were the fastest-growing group in California during the last decade.

Newly processed data gathered for the sunshine state’s latest residential census shows that the number of Californians who identify as Asian-American has grown by 25% in the last 10 years, with 17% of the total California population now identifying as such.

The findings could offer useful insights for wine producers in terms of their local consumer demographic, and may also hint at who might be working in the Californian wine industry in future.

The fastest-growing subgroup was the Nepalese population, which has more than tripled in California between 2010 and 2020, growing from 6,200 to nearly 20,000 residents, and representing a 216% increase in the last decade.

The number of Singaporean residents in California grew by 139%, while Mongolian residents saw a climb of 105%.

Making up the rest of the top five fastest-growing Asian-American subgroups in the US state are those of Bangladeshi and Malaysian heritage, with an increase of 76% and 64% respectively.

However, it’s worth noting that the growth in Nepalese, Singaporean and Mongolian residents started from a relatively small baseline, with the combined three subgroups making up just 0.5% of Asian Americans living in California.

Chinese Americans, the largest Asian group in California, grew by 33%, while the number of Indians increased by 53%.

Source: US Census Bureau via San Francisco Chronicle

What about in wine country?


Of all the Asian subgroups recorded in the census, the biggest spike to take place in Napa was in Nepalese residents for which a 74% increase was registered (bringing the relatively small number of Napa Nepalese up to 664 as of 2020).

Napa also saw a 23% lift in Filipino residents (8,500), and a 23% increase in Chinese-Americans (1,539), while an 8% increase in Japanese residents (947) was also noted.

Finally, the small number of Pakastani residents in Napa (173) grew by 43%.


During the last 10 years, the number of Chinese-Americans in Sonoma increased by 44% to reach 7,463 residents.

The Filipino community grew by 32% to a total of 8,172 residents, and those of Cambodian heritage increased by 27% to reach 1,669 residents.

Japanese residents multiplied by 22% to reach 3,952 residents, while the number of Vietnamese grew by 35% to reach 3,027 residents.

Koreans grew by 17% to a total of 1,729 residents.

Huge growth but from a small base line was seen for Indonesians (up 93% to 389 residents), Nepalese (up 165% to 741 residents), Taiwanese (up 88% to 371 residents) and Thai (up 41% to 689 residents).

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