8 things about Asian Americans you should know

Awkwafina in ‘Nora from Queens,’ the new sitcom from Comedy Central.

The Lunar New Year holiday is a grand celebration worldwide with two weeks of family reunions, meals and exchanging lucky money envelopes.  In honor of Lunar New Year, Nielsen is highlighting several Asian American trends from the last decade. Nielsen has been tracking the growth of the Asian American consumer market since 2011 in their annual Nielsen Diverse Intelligence Series: Asian American Consumer Reports.  We can see how Asian Americans have been influencing U.S. culture in technology, food, entertainment, and music. From Awkwafina winning the Golden Globe award, to BTS as the first South Korean band in history to debut an album at No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart, to Andrew Yang running for president, Asian Americans have been impacting the mainstream in big ways. Here are eight insights that you should know about Asian Americans:


Asian Americans continue to make gains as tech-enabled, digitally vocal influencers

with an immense spending power of $1 trillion, a number that has risen 68 percent since 2010. Nielsen research shows that Asian American buying power will continue to grow in coming years.


Asian American households are multigenerational and 17 percent larger than average U.S. households. One factor is a pattern of immigrants starting a new life in the U.S. that live with extended families in order to ease the transition. The support of family smooths the adjustment to a new culture and fosters culture sustainability, as elders have daily influence on younger generations.  Multigenerational households are relatively common among Asian Americans, with 27 percent of them living in such households, versus 15 percent of the total population.


As Asian American creators reached new heights of recognition, Asian American households tuned in via channels like Netflix and other streaming services.  In 2018, Crazy Rich Asians earned $238 million in global box offices, featuring Asian Americans in lead roles. Earlier this month, Awkwafina was the first Asian American to win a Golden Globe Award for lead actress in a film in the musical and comedy category, showing that media and entertainment is beginning to reflect its diverse audience.

From top:
Andrew Yang, Sriracha
Shopping in H.K., Saahil Arora
BTS boy band, WeChat

Eighty-one percent of Asian American households lead media use by subscribing to at least one video streaming service like Netflix. They use these services 19 percent more than the U.S. total population which makes watching Asian American big moments in the spotlight easier.


Asian Americans are early adopters and leaders of new technology.  Asian Americans agree that finding out about products and services is an important reason for using social media. 20.5 percent of Asian American consumers aged 18 and over use the Yelp app, and are 113 percent more likely to use Yelp than the total U.S. population.  Using local social apps from other countries such as WeChat for China and Kakao Talk for Korea helps Asian Americans more easily communicate with family, friends and businesses in Asia.


As would be expected of tech trendsetters, Asian Americans are first movers in online shopping and shop online 34 percent more than the average U.S. population, with 87 percent of Asian Americans making an online purchase last year.


Asian Americans are tuning into E-sports.  Forty-nine percent of Asian Americans say they are fans of e-sports, lifting gaming and E-sports into the American mainstream. The second ranked U.S. professional player of E-sports is Saahil Arora of South Asian Indian descent. Last year 454 million worldwide viewers spent over $1 billion on E-sports.


The popularity of K-Pop music started in the Asian American community with close familial ties to Korea and has crossed over to U.S. mainstream culture with individual and collaborative success with U.S. artists.  K-Pop acts such as BTS and BlackPink achieved success on the Billboard Hot 100 and other top U.S. charts, suggesting the K-Pop revolution is here to stay.


From naan bread to condiments like Sriracha, many Asian foods have grown from niche to mainstream, seeing double- or even triple-digit growth over the past three years. – Nielsen.com

© The FilAm 2020

Leave a Reply