Nation's Asian and Pacific Islander population profiled by Census Bureau

In March 2000, 80 percent of Asian and Pacific Islander family households were maintained by married couples and 42 percent of these households had incomes of $75,000 or more, according to survey data released today by the Commerce Department's Census Bureau. These data, collected in the March 2000 Current Population Survey (CPS), should not be confused with Census 2000 results.

44 percent of Asian and Pacific Islanders age 25 and over had a bachelor's degree or higher and 86 percent had at least a high school diploma in 2000.

In 1999, Asian and Pacific Islanders had a record-low poverty rate of 10.7 percent.

There were 2.5 million Asian and Pacific Islander families; 13 percent were maintained by women with no spouse present and 7 percent by men with no spouse present.

Asian and Pacific Islander families tended to be relatively large. For example, 23 percent of Asian and Pacific Islander married-couple families had five or more members.

53 percent of Asian and Pacific Islander households owned their homes.

When the first United States decennial census in 1970 collected data on race, there was no distinction made for people of Asian descent. Not until 1860 has the data on the Chinese population been collected. Followed by Chinese population data collection is Japanese in 1870, Korean and Filipino in 1910, and Asian Indian in 1970. In the 1980 census, there were 6 separate response categories for Asians: Asian India, Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese. These same 6 categories were used on both the 1990 and Census 2000. For Census 2000, however, a new category, Asian in combination, was created in response to Asian reported one or more races. Because of this change, the Census 2000 data on race is not directly comparable with data from the 1990 census or earlier censuses.

Asian population is now defined as the total number of people who identified entirely or partially as Asian (Asian alone or Asian in combination). In 2000,of the total United States population, there were 3.6 percent (10.2 million people) of Asian alone and 0.6 percent (1.7 million people) of Asian in combination. Therefore, 4.2 percent of the total population was reported by Asian in the United States. Within the Asian in combination group, the most common combinations were "Asian and White" (52 percent), "Asian and Some other race" (15 percent), "Asian and Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander" (8.4 percent), and "Asian and Black or African American (6.4 percent).

Compared to 1990, there was 6.9 million Asians. This populations increased by 3.3 million (48 percent), or by 5.0 million (72 percent) if Asian along and in combination is used, between 1990 and 2000. In comparison, the total population grew by 13 percent, from 248.7 million in 1990 to 281.4 million in 2000, in the United States. Therefore, the Asian population increased faster than the total population within 10 years in the United States.

When it comes to the geographic distribution of the Asian (Asian alone or Asian in combination) population, there was about ?(49 percent) of the Asian population lived in the West, followed by 20 percent in the Northeast, 19 percent in the South, and 12 percent in the Midwest. Of the 50 states in the United States, over half (51 percent) of the Asian population lived in just 3 states: California (4.2 million), New York (1.2 million), and Hawaii (0.7 million). The Asian population exceeded the U.S. level of 4.2 percent of the total population in 9 stats, which were Hawaii (58 percent), California (12 percent), Washington (6.7 percent), New Jersey (6.2 percent), new York (6.2 percent), Nevada (5.6 percent), Alaska (5.2 percent), Maryland (4.5 percent), and Virginia (4.3 percent). The Asians represented less than 1 percent of the total population in 9 states were: Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, West Virginia, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, and Maine. Of the 3,141 counties in the United States, the counties with the highest concentration of Asians (over 25 percent) were in Hawaii, Honolulu county (62 percent), followed by another 3 counties in Hawaii, 2 counties in Alaska, and the San Francisco Bay area in California.

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