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Facts for Features
CB10-FF.07
March 2, 2010

Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month:
May 2010

In 1978, a joint congressional resolution established Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week. The first 10 days of May were chosen to coincide with two important milestones in Asian/Pacific American history: the arrival in the United States of the first Japanese immigrants (May 7, 1843) and contributions of Chinese workers to the building of the transcontinental railroad, completed on May 10, 1869. In 1992, Congress expanded the observance to a monthlong celebration. Per a 1997 Office of Management and Budget directive, the Asian or Pacific Islander racial category was separated into two categories: one being Asian and the other Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander. Thus, this Facts for Features contains a section for each.

2010 Census

3

Number of Asian languages 2010 Census questionnaires are available in upon request: Chinese, Vietnamese and Korean.
Source: 2010 Census Web site <http://2010.census.gov/2010census/>

13

Number of Asian languages 2010 Census ads are in: Bengali, Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese), Hindi, Hmong, Japanese, Khmer, Korean, Laotian, Tagalog, Thai, Urdu and Vietnamese. The Census has gone to great lengths to be true to the ethnicities it is trying to reach. For example, Chinese Americans are depicted in ads for Chinese Americans, rather than generic images of the Asian population.
Source: 2010 Census Web site <http://2010.census.gov/2010census/>

19

Number of Asian languages 2010 Census Language Assistance Guides are in: Bengali, Burmese, Cebuano, Chinese (Traditional and Simplified), Hindi, Hmong, Ilocano, Japanese, Khmer, Korean, Laotian, Malayalam, Tagalog, Tamil, Telugu, Thai, Urdu and Vietnamese. In addition, they are available in the following Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander languages: Chamorro, Chuukese, Marshallese, Samoan and Tongan.
Source: 2010 Census Web site <http://2010.census.gov/2010census/>

Asians

15.5 million

The estimated number of U.S. residents in July 2008 who said they were Asian alone or Asian in combination with one or more other races. This group comprised about 5 percent of the total population.
Source: Population estimates <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/population/cb09-75.html>

5.1 million

The Asian population in California, the state that had the largest Asian population on July 1, 2008, as well as the largest numerical increase from 2007 to 2008 (105,000). New York (1.5 million) and Texas (956,000) followed in population. In Hawaii, our nation's only majority-Asian state, Asians made up the highest proportion of the total population (54 percent). Asians were the largest minority group in Hawaii and Vermont.
Source: Population estimates <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/population/cb09-76.html>

2.7%

Percentage growth of the Asian population between 2007 and 2008, the highest of any race group during that time period. The increase in the Asian population during the period totaled more than 400,000.
Source: Population estimates <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/population/cb09-75.html>

3.62 million

Number of Asians of Chinese descent in the U.S. in 2008. Chinese-Americans were the largest Asian group, followed by Filipinos (3.09 million), Asian Indians (2.73 million), Vietnamese (1.73 million), Koreans (1.61 million) and Japanese (1.30 million). These estimates represented the number of people who were either of a particular Asian group only or were of that group in combination with one or more other Asian groups or races.
Source: 2008 American Community Survey <http://factfinder.census.gov>

Income, Poverty and Health Insurance

$70,069

Median household income for single-race Asians in 2008.
Source: 2008 American Community Survey <http://factfinder.census.gov>

Median household income differed greatly by Asian group. For Asian Indians, for example, the median income in 2008 was $90,528; for Vietnamese-Americans, it was $55,667. (These figures represent the single-race population.)
Source: 2008 American Community Survey <http://factfinder.census.gov>

11.8%

Poverty rate for single-race Asians in 2008, up from 10.2 percent in 2007.
Source: Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2008 <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/income_wealth/cb09-141.html>

17.6%

Percentage of single-race Asians without health insurance coverage in 2008, not statistically different from 2007.
Source: Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2008 <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/income_wealth/cb09-141.html>

Education

50%

The percentage of single-race Asians 25 and older who had a bachelor's degree or higher level of education. This compared with 28 percent for all Americans 25 and older.
Source: 2008 American Community Survey <http://factfinder.census.gov>

85%

The percentage of single-race Asians 25 and older who had at least a high school diploma. This compared with 85 percent for all Americans 25 and older.
Source: 2008 American Community Survey <http://factfinder.census.gov>

20%

The percentage of single-race Asians 25 and older who had a graduate (e.g., master's or doctorate) or professional degree. This compared with 10 percent for all Americans 25 and older.
Source: 2008 American Community Survey <http://factfinder.census.gov>

Voting

How many more Asians voted in the 2008 presidential election than in the 2004 election. All in all, 49 percent of Asians turned out to vote in 2008 -- up about 4 percentage points from 2004. A total of 3.6 million Asians voted.
Source: Voting and Registration in the Election of November 2008 <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/voting/cb09-110.html>

Businesses

Source for the statements referenced in this section, unless otherwise indicated: Asian-Owned Firms: 2002
<http://www2.census.gov/econ/sbo/02/sb0200csasian.pdf>

1.1 million

Number of businesses owned by Asian-Americans in 2002, up 24 percent from 1997. The rate of increase in the number of Asian-owned businesses was about twice that of the national average for all businesses.

More than $326 billion

Receipts of Asian-American-owned businesses in 2002, up 8 percent from 1997. An estimated 319,468 Asian-owned businesses had paid employees, and their receipts totaled more than $291 billion. There were 49,636 Asian-owned firms with receipts of $1 million or more, accounting for 4 percent of the total number of Asian-owned firms and nearly 68 percent of their total receipts.

In 2002, more than three in 10 Asian-owned firms operated in professional, scientific and technical services, as well as other services, such as personal services, and repair and maintenance.

2.2 million

Number of people employed by Asian-owned businesses. There were 1,866 Asian-owned firms with 100 or more employees, generating nearly $52 billion in gross receipts (18 percent of the total revenue for Asian-owned employer firms).

47%

Percentage of all Asian-owned firms that were either Chinese-owned or Asian Indian-owned.

Nearly 6 in 10

Proportion of all Asian-owned firms in the United States in California, New York, Texas and New Jersey.

112,441

The number of Asian-owned firms in New York City, which led all cities. Los Angeles (47,764), Honolulu (22,348) and San Francisco (19,639) followed.

28%

The proportion of Asian-owned businesses that were home based. This is the lowest proportion among minority respondent groups.
Source: Characteristics of Businesses: 2002 <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/business_ownership/cb06-148.html>

Languages

2.5 million

The number of people 5 and older who spoke Chinese at home in 2008. After Spanish, Chinese was the most widely spoken non-English language in the country. Tagalog, Vietnamese and Korean were each spoken at home by more than 1 million people.
Source: 2008 American Community Survey <http://factfinder.census.gov>

Serving Our Nation

276,079

The number of single-race Asian military veterans. About one in three was 65 and older.
Source: 2008 American Community Survey <http://factfinder.census.gov>

Jobs

48%

The proportion of civilian employed single-race Asians 16 and older who worked in management, professional and related occupations, such as financial managers, engineers, teachers and registered nurses. Additionally, 22 percent worked in sales and office occupations, 16 percent in service occupations and 11 percent in production, transportation and material moving occupations.
Source: 2008 American Community Survey <http://factfinder.census.gov>

The 'Net

73%

Percentage of Asians living in a household with Internet use -- the highest rate among race and ethnic groups.
Source: Computer and Internet Use in the United States: October 2007 <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/communication_industries/cb09-84.html>

Counties

1.4 million

The number of Asians (self-identified as Asian alone or in combination with one or more other races) in Los Angeles County, Calif., in 2008, which tops the nation's counties.
Source: Population estimates <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/population/cb09-76.html>

19,000

Santa Clara County, Calif.'s Asian population increase from 2007 to 2008, the largest in the nation.
Source: Population estimates <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/population/cb09-76.html>

58%

Percent of the population of Honolulu County, Hawaii, that was Asian in 2008, which led the country. Honolulu was the only majority-Asian county in the nation.
Source: Population estimates <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/population/cb09-76.html>

Age Distribution

35.8

Median age of the single-race Asian population in 2008. The corresponding figure was 36.8 years for the population as a whole.
Source: Population estimates <http://www.census.gov/popest/national/asrh/NC-EST2008-asrh.html>

The Future

40.6 million

The projected number of U.S. residents in 2050 who will identify themselves as Asian or Asian in combination with one or more other races. They would comprise 9 percent of the total population by that year.
Source: Population projections <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/population/cb08-123.html>

162%

The projected percentage increase between 2008 and 2050 in the population of people who identify themselves as Asian or Asian in combination with one or more other races. This compares with a 44 percent increase in the population as a whole over the same period of time.
Source: Population projections <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/population/cb08-123.html>

Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders

1.1 million

The estimated number of U.S. residents in July 2008 who said they were Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, either alone or in combination with one or more other races. This group comprised 0.4 percent of the total population.
Source: Population estimates <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/population/cb09-75.html>

California had the largest population (282,000) in 2008 of Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders (either alone or in combination with one or more other races), followed by Hawaii (281,000) and Washington (55,000). California had the largest numerical increase (6,000) of people of this group. In Hawaii, Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders comprised the largest proportion (22 percent) of the total population.
Source: Population estimates <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/population/cb09-76.html>

2.4%

Percentage growth of the Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander population between 2007 and 2008 -- second to Asians among race groups. The increase in the Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander population during the period totaled about 26,000.
Source: Population estimates <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/population/cb09-75.html>

Income, Poverty and Health Insurance

$57,721

The median income of households headed by single-race Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders.
Source: 2008 American Community Survey <http://factfinder.census.gov>

16.3%

The poverty rate for those who classified themselves as single-race Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander.
Source: 2008 American Community Survey <http://factfinder.census.gov>

18.5%

The three-year average (2006-2008) percentage without health insurance for single-race Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders.
Source: Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2008 <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/income_wealth/cb09-141.html>

Education

15%

The percentage of single-race Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders 25 and older who had at least a bachelor's degree. This compared with 28 percent for the total population.
Source: 2008 American Community Survey <http://factfinder.census.gov>

87%

The percentage of single-race Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders 25 and older who had at least a high school diploma. This compared with 85 percent for the total population.
Source: 2008 American Community Survey <http://factfinder.census.gov>

5%

The percentage of single-race Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders 25 and older who had obtained a graduate or professional degree. This compared with 10 percent for the total population this age.
Source: 2008 American Community Survey <http://factfinder.census.gov>

Businesses

Source for the statements referenced in this section: Native Hawaiian- and Other Pacific Islander-Owned Firms: 2002
<http://www2.census.gov/econ/sbo/02/sb0200csnhpi.pdf>

28,948

Number of Native Hawaiian- and Other Pacific Islander-owned businesses in 2002, up 49 percent from 1997. The rate of growth was more than three times the national average. The 3,693 Native Hawaiian- and Other Pacific Islander-owned businesses with paid employees employed more than 29,000 and generated revenues of $3.5 billion.

2,415

Number of Native Hawaiian- and Other Pacific Islander-owned firms in Honolulu.

$4.3 billion

Receipts for Native Hawaiian- and Other Pacific Islander-owned businesses in 2002, up 3 percent from 1997. There were 727 Native Hawaiian- and Other Pacific Islander-owned firms with receipts of $1 million or more. These firms accounted for 3 percent of the total number of Native Hawaiian- and Other Pacific Islander-owned firms and 67 percent of their total receipts.

In 2002, nearly 21,000 Native Hawaiian- and Other Pacific Islander-owned firms operated in health care and social assistance; other services (such as personal services, and repair and maintenance); retail trade; administrative and support and waste management and remediation services; professional, scientific and technical services; and construction.

28

Number of Native Hawaiian- and Other Pacific Islander-owned firms with 100 or more employees. These firms generated $698 million in gross receipts -- 20 percent of the total revenue for Native Hawaiian- and Other Pacific Islander-owned employer firms.

53%

Percentage of all Native Hawaiian- and Other Pacific Islander-owned firms in Hawaii and California. These two states accounted for 62 percent of business revenue.

Serving Our Nation

26,810

The number of single-race Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander military veterans. About one in five was 65 and older.
Source: 2008 American Community Survey <http://factfinder.census.gov>

Jobs

24%

The proportion of civilian employed single-race Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders 16 and older who worked in management, professional and related occupations, such as financial managers, engineers, teachers and registered nurses. About the same percent worked in service occupations. Meanwhile, 28 percent worked in sales and office occupations and 14 percent in production, transportation and material moving occupations.
Source: 2008 American Community Survey <http://factfinder.census.gov>

Counties

179,000

Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander population (alone or in combination with one or more other races) in Honolulu County, Hawaii, in 2008, which led the nation. Among counties, Clark County, Nev. (home of Las Vegas) had the largest numerical increase in this race since July 2007 ─ 857. Hawaii County, Hawaii, had the highest percentage of people of this race (30 percent).
Source: Population estimates <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/population/cb09-76.html>

Age Distribution

29.8

The median age of the single-race Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander population in 2008. The median age was 36.8 for the population as a whole.
Source: Population estimates <http://www.census.gov/popest/national/asrh/NC-EST2008-asrh.html>

The Future

2.6 million

The projected number of U.S. residents in 2050 who will identify themselves as Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander or Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander in combination with one or more other races. They would comprise 0.6 percent of the total population by that year.
Source: Population projections <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/population/cb08-123.html>

132%

The projected percentage increase between 2008 and 2050 in the population of people who identify themselves as Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander or Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander in combination with one or more other races. This compares with a 44 percent increase in the population as a whole over the same period of time.
Source: Population projections <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/population/cb08-123.html>

Following is a list of observances typically covered by the Census Bureau’s Facts for Features series:

  • African-American History Month (February)
  • Super Bowl
  • Valentine's Day (Feb. 14)
  • Women's History Month (March)
  • Irish-American Heritage Month (March)/
          St. Patrick's Day (March 17)
  • Earth Day (April 22)
  • Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month (May)
  • Older Americans Month (May)
  • Cinco de Mayo (May 5)
  • Mother's Day
  • Hurricane Season Begins (June 1)
  • Father's Day
  • The Fourth of July (July 4)
  • Anniversary of Americans With Disabilities Act (July 26)
  • Back to School (August)
  • Labor Day
  • Grandparents Day
  • Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct. 15)
  • Unmarried and Single Americans Week
  • Halloween (Oct. 31)
  • American Indian/Alaska Native Heritage Month (November)
  • Veterans Day (Nov. 11)
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • The Holiday Season (December)

Editor’s note: The preceding data were collected from a variety of sources and may be subject to sampling variability and other sources of error. Facts for Features are customarily released about two months before an observance in order to accommodate magazine production timelines. Questions or comments should be directed to the Census Bureau’s Public Information Office: telephone: 301-763-3030; fax: 301-763-3762; or e-mail: <PIO@census.gov>.

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Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Public Information Office | PIO@census.gov | Last Revised: July 15, 2014