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Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month: May 2022

Release Number CB22-FF.05

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 that is now known as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Per a 1997 U.S. 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.

The following facts are possible thanks to the invaluable responses to U.S. Census Bureau surveys. We appreciate the public’s cooperation as we continuously measure America’s people, places and economy.

Asian Population

Did You Know?

24.0 million

The estimated number of people who identified as Asian alone or in combination in the United States in 2020.

5.1 million

The estimated number of the Asian alone or in combination population of Chinese, except Taiwanese, descent in the United States in 2020. The Chinese (except Taiwanese) population was the largest Asian group, followed by Asian Indian (4.5 million), Filipino (4.1 million), Vietnamese (2.2 million), Korean (1.9 million) and Japanese (1.6 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).

2.5%

The estimated percentage of Asian alone or in combination who are military veterans in 2019.

7.2 million

The number of the Asian alone population 25 years and older who had a bachelor’s degree or higher level of education.

11.4 million    

The number of the Asian alone population 25 years and older who had at least a high school diploma or equivalency.

581,200

The estimated number of Asian-owned employer firms in the United States in 2019.

Voting Rates

More Stats

Visit data.census.gov for a Selected Population Profile of the Asian alone or in combination population from the 2019 American Community Survey, 1-year estimates. Statistics include:

  • Sex and age.
  • Marital status.
  • Employment status.
  • Occupation.
  • Commuting.
  • Housing.
  • Income.

Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander Population

Did You Know?

1.6 million

The estimated number of people that identified as Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone or in combination in the United States in 2020. 

619,855

The number of Native Hawaiians in the United States in 2020. The Native Hawaiian population was the largest detailed Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander (NHPI) group, followed by Samoan (211,876) and Chamorro (156,083). 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).

35,152

The number of Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone who are military veterans in 2020.

71,224

The number of people that identified as Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone population 25 years and older who had a bachelor’s degree or higher in 2020. 

337,408

The number of the Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone population 25 years and older with at least a high school diploma or equivalency in 2020. 

7,331

The estimated number of Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander-owned employer firms in the United States in 2019. 

More Stats

Visit data.census.gov for a Selected Population Profile of the Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone or in combination population from the 2019 American Community Survey, 1-year estimates. Statistics include:

  • Sex and age.
  • Marital status.
  • Employment status.
  • Occupation.
  • Commuting.
  • Housing.
  • Income.

Visit the results from the 2020 Census Barriers, Attitudes, and Motivators Study to understand and compare barriers, attitudes and motivators across demographic subgroups, such as Asian, Black, Hispanic, White, and additional groups like income and education levels.

Editor’s note: As a matter of policy, the Census Bureau does not advocate the use of the alone population over the alone-or-in-combination population or vice versa. The use of the alone population in sections of this release does not imply that it is a preferred method of pre­senting or analyzing data. The same is true for sections of this release that focus on the alone-or-in-combination population. Data on race can be presented and discussed in a variety of ways.

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

Black (African American) History Month (February)
Women's History Month (March)
Irish-American Heritage Month (March)
Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month (May)
The Fourth of July (July 4)
Anniversary of Americans With Disabilities Act (July 26)
Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct. 15)
Halloween (Oct. 31)
American Indian/Alaska Native Heritage Month (November)
Veterans Day (Nov. 11)
Thanksgiving Day/Holiday Season (November-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; or e-mail: pio@census.gov.

Profile America's Facts for Features provides statistics related to observances and holidays not covered by Stats for Stories. For observances not listed below, visit our Stats for Stories web page. 

Profile America's Stats for Stories provides links to timely story ideas highlighting the Census Bureau's newsworthy statistics that relate to current events, observances, holidays, and anniversaries. The story ideas are intended to assist the media in story mining and producing content for their respective audiences.

 

 

 

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