Profile America -- Saturday, May 4th. By presidential proclamation, this month recognizes one of the nation's fastest-growing population groups -- those of Asian and Pacific American heritage. The observance began in 1978 with a joint congressional resolution honoring the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants in the 1840s and the completion of the transcontinental railroad in 1870 with the help of Chinese immigrants. Now, 18.2 million people in the U.S. are of Asian heritage, approaching 6 percent of the total population. California has the largest number of this group, at around 5.8 million. Hawaii is the state where Asians make up the highest proportion of the total population at 57 percent. You can find more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau, online at <www.census.gov>.
Sources: U.S. Census Bureau, Facts for Features, CB13-FF.09