Tamil Americans (தமிழ் அமெரிக்கர்) are Americans who are of Tamil ethnic origins, mostly from India and Sri Lanka and other countries such as Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, the French West Indies, South Africa, and the United Kingdom.
In the second half of the 20th century, Tamils from India migrated as skilled professionals to the United States, Canada, Europe, and Southeast Asia. The Tamil American population enumerates over 130,000 individuals, and the Federation of Tamil Sangams of North America functions as an umbrella organization for the growing community as such.
Central New Jersey is home to the largest population concentration of Tamils. New Jersey houses its own Tamil Sangam. Sizeable populations of Indian American Tamils have also settled in New York City and the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area, as well as on the West Coast in Silicon Valley, where there are Tamil associations such as the Bay Area Tamil Manram. On the other hand, the New York City and Los Angeles metropolitan areas are home to the largest concentrations of Tamil-speaking Sri Lankan Americans, with New York City's Staten Island alone estimated to be home to more than 5,000 Sri Lankan Americans, a significant proportion of whom speak Tamil.
2009 Tamil diaspora protests
Tamil Americans participated in the worldwide Tamil diaspora protests in 2009, where they urged national and world leaders and organizations to take action toward bringing a unanimous cease fire to the Sri Lankan Civil War. Protests occurred in the United States, concurrently with other protests in other parts of the world. They were organized by local Tamil American groups, with the help of Tamil Canadians. Major protests occurred on several occasions in Washington, D.C. near the White House, as well as smaller scale protests in New York City.
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Notable Tamil Americans
|Central Asian3, 4|
|South Asian3, 6|
1 The U.S. Census Bureau definition of Asians refers to a person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian subcontinent.
2 The United States Government classified Kalmyks as Asian until 1951, when Kalmyk Americans were reclassified as White Americans.
3 The U.S. Census Bureau considers Afghanistan a South Asian country, but does not classify Afghan Americans as Asian, but as Middle Eastern American.
4 The U.S. Census Bureau considers Mongolians and Uzbeks as Central Asians, but a specific Central Asian American group similar to Middle Eastern American does not yet exist.
5 The U.S. Census Bureau reclassifies anyone identifying as "Tibetan American" as "Chinese American".
6 Bengali Americans
may be classified as Bangladeshi or Indian. Punjabi Americans
may be classified as Indian or Pakistani. Tamil Americans
may be classified as Indian or Sri Lankan.