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Release Number CB17-FF.07
Component ID: #ti961185852

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 month-long 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.

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Asian

21.0 million

The estimated number of Asian alone or in combination residents in the United States in 2015.

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6.5 million

The Asian alone or in combination population in California in 2015. The state had the largest Asian population, followed by New York (1.8 million). The Asian alone or in combination population represented 56.1 percent of the total population in Hawaii.

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4.8 million

The estimated number of the Asian population of Chinese, except Taiwanese, descent in the United States in 2015. The Chinese (except Taiwanese) population was the largest Asian group, followed by Asian Indian (4.0 million), Filipino (3.9 million), Vietnamese (2.0 million), Korean (1.8 million) and Japanese (1.4 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).

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Income, Poverty and Health Insurance

$76,260

The median income of households headed by the Asian alone or in combination population in 2015. Median household income differed greatly by Asian group. For Asian Indian alone, for example, the median income in 2015 was $103,821; for Bangladeshi alone, it was $49,515.

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12.0%

The poverty rate for the Asian alone or in combination population in 2015.

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7.5%

The percentage of the Asian alone or in combination population without health insurance coverage in 2015.

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Business

1.9 million

The estimated number of Asian-owned firms nationally in 2012, up from 1.5 million or 23.8 percent from 2007.

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74.9%

The estimated percentage of the 1.9 million Asian-owned firms that had no paid employees in 2012. Of all U.S. businesses, 80.4 percent were nonemployer firms.

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$135.7 billion

The estimated sales/receipts reported by Asian firms owned by women in 2012. Asian firms owned by men reported sales of $474.3 billion.

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Education

51.5%

The percentage of the Asian alone or in combination population age 25 and older who had a bachelor’s degree or higher level of education in 2015. This compared with 30.6 percent for all Americans age 25 and older.

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87.1%

The percentage of the Asian alone or in combination population age 25 and older who had at least a high school diploma or equivalency in 2015. The percentage of the total population who had at least a high school diploma or equivalency was also 87.1 percent.

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21.7%

The percentage of the Asian alone or in combination population age 25 and older who had a graduate or professional degree in 2015. This compared with 11.6 percent for all Americans age 25 and older.

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Serving Our Nation

2.4%

The percentage of Asian alone or in combination military veterans in 2015.

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Jobs

50.1%

The percentage of the civilian employed Asian alone or in combination population age16 and older who worked in management, business, science and arts occupations in 2015. Additionally, 20.4 percent worked in sales and office occupations; 16.9 percent worked in service occupations; 9.4 percent worked in production, transportation and material moving occupations; and 3.2 percent worked in natural resources, construction and maintenance occupations.

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Age Distribution

34.0

The median age of the Asian alone or in combination population in 2015. The corresponding figure was 37.8 for the population as a whole.

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24.6%

The percentage of the Asian alone or in combination population that was under age 18 in 2015.

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Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander Population

1.5 million

The estimated number of Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone or in combination residents of the United States in 2015. 

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372,557

The estimated number of Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone or in combination residents of Hawaii in 2015 — the most of any state. California followed with 353,666.

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568,067

The number of Native Hawaiian residents of the United States in 2015. The Native Hawaiian population was the largest detailed Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander (NHPI) group, followed by Samoan (202,937) and Guamanian or Chamorro (145,956). 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).

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Income, Poverty and Health Insurance

$60,133

The median income of Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone or in combination headed households in 2015.

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17.3%

The poverty rate of the Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone or in combination population in 2015.

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7.8%

The percentage of the Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone or in combination population without health insurance in 2015.

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Business

54,749

The estimated number of Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander-owned firms in 2012. The estimated number rose 45.3 percent from 37,687 in 2007.

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52.9%

The estimated percentage of the nation’s Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander-owned firms that were in either California or Hawaii in 2012 (with 14,446 and 14,537 firms, respectively).

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24,982

The estimated number of Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander firms owned by women in 2012.

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Education

21.5%

The percentage of the Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone or in combination population age 25 and older who had a bachelor’s degree or higher in 2015. This compared with 30.6 percent for all Americans age 25 and older.

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88.8%

The percentage of the Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone or in combination population age 25 and older with at least a high school diploma or equivalency in 2015. This compared with 87.1 percent for all Americans age 25 and older.

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6.5%

The percentage of the Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone or in combination population age 25 and older who had obtained a graduate or professional degree in 2015. This compared with 11.6 percent for all Americans age 25 and older.

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Serving Our Nation

6.9%

The percentage of Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone or in combination military veterans in 2015.

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Jobs

28.5%

The percentage of the civilian employed Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone or in combination population age 16 and older who worked in management, business, science and arts occupations in 2015. Additionally, 27.8 percent worked in sales and office occupations, while 22.2 percent worked in service occupations; 13.3 percent worked in production, transportation and material moving occupations; and 8.1 percent worked in natural resources, construction and maintenance occupations.

Note: The 2015 percentage of those who worked in management, business, science and arts occupations is not significantly different from those who worked sales and office occupations.

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Age Distribution

28.0

The median age of the Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone or in combination population in 2015.

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32.7%

The percentage of the Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone or in combination population that was under age 18 in 2015.

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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 report does not imply that it is a preferred method of pre­senting or analyzing data. The same is true for sections of this report that focus on the alone-or-in-combination population. Data on race can be presented and discussed in a variety of ways.

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The 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)
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; or e-mail: pio@census.gov.

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