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Facts for Features
CB13-FF.09
March 27, 2013

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Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month: May 2013

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 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.

Asians

18.2 million

The estimated number of U.S. residents in 2011 who were Asian, either alone or in combination with one or more additional races.
Source: 2011 Population Estimates Table 3 <www.census.gov/popest/data/index.html>. For additional information, see <www.census.gov/popest/data/national/asrh/2011/index.html>.

5.8 million

The Asian alone or in combination population in California in 2011. The state had the largest Asian population, followed by New York (1.7 million). The Asian alone-or-in-combination population represented 57 percent of the total population in Hawaii.
Source: 2011 Population Estimates Table 5 <www.census.gov/popest/data/index.html>. For additional information, see <www.census.gov/popest/data/state/asrh/2011/index.html>.

46%

Percentage growth of the Asian alone or in combination population between the 2000 and 2010 censuses, which was more than any other major race group.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 Census Redistricting Data (Public Law 94-171) Summary File, Custom Table 3, <www.census.gov/2010census/news/xls/cb11cn123_us_2010redistr.xls>. For additional details, see Hoeffel, E., S. Rastogi, M. Kim, and H. Shahid. 2011. The Asian Population: 2010, U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 Census Briefs, C2010BR-11, available at<www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/briefs/c2010br-11.pdf>.

4 million

Number of Asians of Chinese, except Taiwanese, descent in the U.S. in 2011. The Chinese (except Taiwanese) population was the largest Asian group, followed by Filipinos (3.4 million), Asian Indians (3.2 million), Vietnamese (1.9 million), Koreans (1.7 million) and Japanese (1.3 million). These estimates represent the number of people who reported a specific detailed Asian group alone, as well as people who reported that detailed Asian group in combination with one or more other detailed Asian groups or another race(s).
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2011 American Community Survey, Table B02018 <http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/11_1YR/B02018>

Income, Poverty and Health Insurance

$67,885

Median household income for the Asian alone population in 2011.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2011 American Community Survey, Table S0201, <http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/11_1YR/S0201//popgroup~031>

Median household income differed greatly by Asian group. For Asian Indians, for example, the median income in 2011 was $92,418; for Bangladeshi, it was $45,185. (These figures represent the Asian alone population.)
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2011 American Community Survey, Table S0201, <http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/11_1YR/S0201//popgroup~013> and <http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/11_1YR/S0201//popgroup~014>

12.8%

The poverty rate for the Asian alone population in 2011.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2011 American Community Survey, Table S1701 <http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ACS_11_1YR_S1701>

15.4

Percentage of single-race Asians without health insurance coverage in 2011.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2011 American Community Survey, Table S0201
<http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/11_1YR/S0201//popgroup~012>

Education

50%

The percentage of the Asian alone population 25 and older who had a bachelor's degree or higher level of education. This compared with 28.5 percent for all Americans 25 and older.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2011 American Community Survey, Table S0201,
<http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/11_1YR/S0201//popgroup~012> and <http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/11_1YR/S0201>

85.1%

The percentage of the Asian alone population 25 and older who had at least a high school diploma. This is not statistically different from the percentage for the total population or the percentage of Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander alone, 86 and 85 percent, respectively.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2011 American Community Survey, Table S0201,
<http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/11_1YR/S0201>

20.7%

The percentage of the Asian alone population 25 and older who had a graduate (e.g., master's) or professional degree. This compared with 10.6 percent for all Americans 25 and older.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2011 American Community Survey, Table S0201,
<http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/11_1YR/S0201> and <http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/11_1YR/S0201//popgroup~031>

Voting

589,000

The additional number of the Asian alone population who voted in the 2008 presidential election than in the 2004 election. All in all, 48 percent of Asians turned out to vote in 2008 -- up 4 percentage points from 2004. A total of 3.4 million Asians voted.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 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: U.S. Census Bureau, 2007 Survey of Business Owners via American FactFinder,
<http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/SBO/2007/00CSA01/0100000US/naics~00>

1.5 million

Number of businesses owned by Asians in 2007, an increase of 40.4 percent from 2002.

$506.0 billion

Total receipts of businesses owned by Asians in 2007, up 54.9 percent from 2002.

44.7%

Percentage of Asian-owned businesses that operated in repair and maintenance, personal and laundry services; professional, scientific and technical services; and retail trade in 2007.

47.2%

Percentage of businesses in Hawaii owned by people of Asian descent. It was 14.9 percent in California and 10.1 percent in New York.

508,969

California had the most Asian-owned firms at 508,969 (32.8 percent of all such firms), followed by New York with 196,825 (12.7 percent) and Texas with 114,297 (7.4 percent).

Serving Our Nation

264,695

The number of the Asian alone population military veterans in 2011. About one in three veterans was 65 and older.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2011 American Community Survey, Table B21001D,
<http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/11_1YR/B21001D>

Jobs

48.5%

The proportion of civilian employed single-race Asians 16 and older who worked in management, business, science and arts occupations, such as financial managers, engineers, teachers and registered nurses in 2011. Additionally, 17.4 percent worked in service occupations, 21.1 percent in sales and office occupations, 9.6 percent in production, transportation and material moving occupations and 3.3 percent in natural resources, construction and maintenance occupations.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2011 American Community Survey, Table S0201,
<http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/11_1YR/S0201//popgroup~012>

Internet Use

80%

Percentage of Asians in 2009 living in a household with Internet use -- the highest rate among race and ethnic groups.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Reported Internet Usage for Households, by selected Householder Characteristics; Current Population Survey: 2009 <http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/computer/2009.html>

Age Distribution

33.5

Median age of the Asian alone or in combination population in 2011. The corresponding figure was 37.3 years for the population as a whole.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2011 American Community Survey, Tables S0201,
<http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/11_1YR/S0201//popgroup~031> and <http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/11_1YR/S0201>

25.6%

Percent of the Asian alone or in combination population that was under age 18 in 2011, while 9.0 percent was 65 or older.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2011 American Community Survey, Table S0201
<http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/11_1YR/S0201//popgroup~031>

Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders

1.4 million

The estimated number of U.S. residents in 2011 who were Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, either alone or in combination with one or more additional races.
Source: 2011 Population Estimates Table 3 <www.census.gov/popest/data/index.html> For additional information, see <www.census.gov/popest/data/national/asrh/2011/index.html>

359,000

Hawaii had the largest population of Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders among the alone or in combination population with 359,000, followed by California (329,000) in 2011. Hawaii had the largest proportion of Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders (26 percent).
Source: 2011 Population Estimates Table 4 <www.census.gov/popest/data/index.html> For additional information, see <www.census.gov/popest/data/state/asrh/2011/index.html>

40%

Percentage growth of the Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone or in combination population between the 2000 and 2010 censuses.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 Census Redistricting Data (Public Law 94-171) Summary File, Custom Table 3, <www.census.gov/2010census/news/xls/cb11cn123_us_2010redistr.xls> For additional details, see Hixson, L., B. Hepler, and M. Kim. 2011. The Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander Population: 2010, U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 Census Briefs, C2010BR-12, available at <www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/briefs/c2010br-12.pdf>

518,000

Number of Native Hawaiians in the U.S. in 2011. The Native Hawaiian population was the largest detailed Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islanders (NHPI) group, followed by Samoan (174,000) and Guamanian or Chamorro (108,000). These estimates represent the number of people who reported a specific detailed NHPI group alone, as well as people who reported that detailed NHPI group in combination with one or more other detailed NHPI groups or another race(s).
Source: U.S. Census. Bureau, 2011 American Community Survey, Table B02019 <http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/11_1YR/B02019>

Income, Poverty and Health Insurance

$49,378

The median income of households headed by the Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders alone in 2011.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2011 American Community Survey, Table S0201 <http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/11_1YR/S0201//popgroup~050>

21.5%

The poverty rate in 2011 Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders alone population.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2011 American Community Survey, Table S0201, <http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/11_1YR/S0201//popgroup~050>

18.5%

The percentage without health insurance in 2011 for single-race Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2011 American Community Survey, Table S0201, <http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/11_1YR/S0201//popgroup~050>

Education

14.5%

The percentage of the Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders alone 25 and older who had a bachelor's degree or higher in 2011. This compared with 28.5 percent for the total population.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2011 American Community Survey, TablesS0201 <http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/11_1YR/S0201//popgroup~050> and <http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/11_1YR/S0201>

85.1%

The percentage of the Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders alone 25 and older who had at least a high school diploma in 2011. This compared with 85.9 percent of the total population.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2011 American Community Survey Tables S0201 <http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/11_1YR/S0201//popgroup~050> and <http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/11_1YR/S0201>

4.3%

The percentage of the Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders alone 25 and older who had obtained a graduate or professional degree in 2011. This compared with 10.6 percent for the total population this age.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2011 American Community Survey, Tables S0201 <http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/11_1YR/S0201//popgroup~050> and <http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/11_1YR/S0201>

Businesses

Source for the statements referenced in this section, unless otherwise indicated: U.S. Census Bureau, 2007 Survey of Business Owners via American FactFinder
<http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/SBO/2007/00CSA01/0100000US/naics~00>

37,687

The number of Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander-owned businesses in 2007, up 30.2 percent from 2002.

$6.3 billion

Total receipts of these businesses in 2007, up 47.7 percent from 2002.

44.5%

The percent of all Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander-owned business revenue that construction and retail trade accounted for in 2007.

9.5%

The percent of businesses in Hawaii owned by Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islanders in 2007, highest among all states.

Serving Our Nation

27,469

The number of the Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone military veterans. About one in five veterans was 65 years and older.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2011 American Community Survey, B21001E,
<http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/10_1YR/B21001E>

Jobs

24%

The proportion of civilian employed the Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders alone 16 and older who worked in management, business, science and arts occupations, such as financial managers, engineers, teachers and registered nurses in 2011. The percents for management, business, science and arts occupations, sales and office occupations and service occupations are not statistically different from one another. Additionally, 25.7 percent worked in service occupations, while 26.6 percent worked in sales and office occupations , 15.2 percent in production, transportation and material moving occupations and 8.6 percent in natural resources, construction and maintenance occupation.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2011 American Community Survey, Table S0201,
<http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/11_1YR/S0201//popgroup~050>

Age Distribution

27.1

The median age of the Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander population alone or in combination in 2011. The median age was 37.3 for the population as a whole.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2011 American Community Survey,
<http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/11_1YR/S0201//popgroup~060> and <http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/11_1YR/S0201>

33.5%

Percentage of the Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone or in combination population that was under age 18 in 2011, while 5.5 percent was 65 or older.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2011 American Community Survey, Table S0201,
<http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/11_1YR/S0201//popgroup~060>

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>.

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