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May 19, 2021

12 Facts About Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

What’s life like for Asian Americans? Get the facts.

During Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, which has been officially recognized every May since 1990, we reflect on Asian Americans’ and Pacific Islanders' rich contributions to our country's history. These 12 facts offer a snapshot of life for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders today, based on available data from the Pew Research Center and the U.S. Census Bureau.

1) 7% of the U.S. population is Asian American, as of 2019.

This includes those who identify as Asian, Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander either alone or in combination with one or more other races. Learn more.

2) Hawaii has the largest share of Asian Americans — 57% of Hawaiian residents are Asian American.

California follows with 17%. Learn more.

3) 88% the growth of the Asian American population in the U.S. from 2000 to 2019.

This makes Asian Americans the fastest-growing racial or ethnic group in the country. Learn more.

4) The number of Asian American eligible voters more than doubled between 2000 to 2020.

In 2020, Asian Americans accounted for about 5% of the eligible voter population in the U.S. They are also the only major racial or ethnic group in which naturalized citizens represent a greater share of voters (67%) than U.S.-born citizens (33%). Learn more here and here.

5) 27% of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders live in multigenerational households.

In comparison, 19% of all Americans live in multigenerational households. A multigenerational household has at least two adult generations or grandparents and grandchildren younger than 25. Learn more.

6) 7% of Asian Americans lived in poverty in 2019.

Overall, 11% of Americans lived in poverty in 2019. Learn more.

7) 10% of U.S. businesses are owned by Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, as of 2018.

This includes 577,835 Asian-owned businesses and 6,653 owned by Americans of Pacific Islander and/or Native Hawaiian descent. Learn more.

8) 66% of Asian Americans and 67% of Pacific Islanders age 16 and older participated in the labor force in 2019.

This is about on par with the total U.S. labor force participation rate (64%). The labor force includes people who are either working or actively looking for work. Learn more.

9) 56% of Asian Americans age 25 and older have a bachelor’s degree or higher, as of 2019.

By contrast, 18% of Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders have a bachelor’s degree or higher, and 33% of all Americans are similarly educated. Learn more.

10) $98,174 was the median income of an Asian American household in 2019.

In comparison, the median income for all U.S. households was $68,703. Learn more.

11) 36% of Asian American adults say religion is very important in their lives.

Whereas, 53% of all American adults say the same. Learn more.

12) 45% of Asian American adults say they feel a sense of spiritual peace and well-being at least once a week.

In comparison, 59% of all American adults say the same. Learn more.

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