Asian Immigrants in the United States

By: Jeanne Batalova
Source: Migration Policy Institute

From the report:

Nearly 20 years ago, Congress established the month of May as Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month to recognize two events: the arrival of first Japanese immigrants on May 7, 1843, and the contributions of Chinese immigrant laborers in the building of the transcontinental railroad, which was completed on May 10, 1869. In observance of Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month, we share the most recent facts and statistics about immigrants from Asia.

As of 2009, there were more than 10.6 million Asian immigrants in the United States. Immigration from Asia has increased considerably since the 1965 US Immigration and Nationality Act, which removed national-origin quotas that favored European immigration. In 1960, the Asian born accounted for just 5 percent of the foreign-born population in the United States, but by 2009, their share increased more than five-fold to account for nearly 28 percent of immigrants. Today, the Asian born are the country’s second-largest immigrant population by world region of birth, behind those from Latin America.

The top three countries of origin of Asian immigrants are the Philippines, India, and China, and California, New York, and Texas are home to nearly half of all Asian immigrants in the country (for more information on immigrants by state, please see the ACS/Census Data tool on the MPI Data Hub).

Full report (HTML)

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