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Asian Media Access

US Census Bureau releases a set of data to celebrate Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month – May 2023

In 1992, Congress established May as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month to coincide with two key milestones: the arrival of the nation’s first Japanese immigrants (May 7, 1843) and Chinese workers’ pivotal role in building the transcontinental railroad (completed May 10, 1869). The move expanded what had been Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week since 1978. In 2021, a presidential proclamation expanded this to include Native Hawaiians. This Facts for Features includes separate sections on the Asian and the Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander populations, which the Office of Management and Budget in 1997 split into two race categories.

a) Asian Population (Source: 2020 Census Data)

The estimated number of Asian alone or in combination residents in the United States in 2021 is about 24.0 million. The Chinese (except Taiwanese, 5.2 million) population was the largest Asian group, followed by Indian (4.8 million), Filipino (4.4 million), Vietnamese (2.3 million), Korean (2.0 million), and Japanese (1.6 million). There is about 55.1% 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 2021. And there is about 88.5% percentage of the Asian alone-or-in-combination population age 25 and older who had at least a high school diploma or equivalency in 2021. There are total 612,194 Asian-owned employer firms in the United States in 2020.

b) Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander Population (Source: 2020 Census Data)

The estimated number of Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone-or-in-combination residents of the United States in 2021 is about 1.7 million. The Native Hawaiian population (680,353) was the largest detailed Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander (NHPI) group, followed by Samoan (243,682) and Chamorro (142,516). There is about 25.0% 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 2021. And there is about 89.9% 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 2021. There are total 8,822 Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander-owned employer firms in the United States in 2020.

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