Celebrate Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month 2023
- 19.9 million people identified as Asian alone and 4.1 million people identified as Asian in combination with another race.
- Roughly 690,000 people identified as Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander (NHPI) alone but almost 900,000 identified as NHPI in combination with another race.
- It is estimated that 22 percent of households (over 67 million people) have at least one member who spoke a language other than English at home. 4 percent of total U.S. households (over 12 million people) were limited English-speaking households
- In households with people with limited English proficiency (LEP):
- Over 30 percent speak Chinese, Korean, or Vietnamese
- Nearly 20 percent speak Arabic
- Over 15 percent speak other Asian and Pacific Island languages
May is Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AA and NHPI) Heritage Month – a celebration of AA and NHPI individuals and communities in the United States.
The HHS Office of Minority Health (OMH) is committed to advancing Better Health Through Better Understanding for AA and NHPI individuals by providing them with culturally and linguistically competent healthcare services, information, and resources. When patients are provided with culturally and linguistically appropriate information, they are empowered to create healthier outcomes for themselves and their communities.
Learn more about the Better Health Through Better Understanding theme, which focuses on increased health literacy, providing culturally competent care, and improving access to health care information for individuals with limited English proficiency (LEP) by visiting OMH’s National Minority Health Month page.
This month, join OMH as we highlight resources and data focused on advancing Better Health Through Better Understanding for AA and NHPIs:
- Visit OMH’s Population Profiles to learn more about the unique health concerns impacting Asian Americans and Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders.
- Visit the U.S. Census Bureau’s website to learn more about the diversity within the AA and NHPI communities.
- Visit the White House Initiative on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (WHIAANHPI) to learn more about federal efforts to promote safety and equity for AA and NHPI communities.
Download the “Asian Americans and Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders in High-Vulnerability Counties” infographic to learn how the places we live, work, and play can impact health outcomes AAs and NHPIs.
Get Involved in Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month
Follow us on Twitter , Facebook , and Instagram , and sign up for OMH newsletters for additional events and resources.
Celebrate this year’s theme by sharing these messages and graphics.
Visit the OMH Knowledge Center for a collection of publications related to the AA and NHPI communities and cultural competence .
Learn more about providing culturally and linguistically appropriate services (CLAS) for AA and NHPI Individuals .
About Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month
The month of May was chosen to celebrate AA and NHPI Heritage Month for several reasons, including to commemorate the first Japanese who came to the country in May of 1843, and to mark the May 1869 completion of the Transcontinental Railroad which involved the labor of many Chinese immigrants. AA and NHPI communities are made up of culturally and linguistically diverse people, representing populations from many countries and islands.
AA and NHPI Heritage Month originated with Congress in the late 1970s. In June 1978, Representative Frank Horton of New York introduced House Joint Resolution 1007, which proposed that the President should “proclaim a week, which is to include the seventh and tenth of the month, during the first ten days in May of 1979 as ‘Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week.’” This was signed by President Jimmy Carter on October 5, 1978 to become Public Law 95-419. This law amended the original language of the bill and directed the President to issue a proclamation for the “seven-day period beginning on May 4, 1979, as ‘Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week.’”
In 1990, Congress passed Public Law 101-283 which expanded the observance to a month for 1990. Then in 1992, Congress passed Public Law 102-450 which annually designated May as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month.
In 2022, the Biden-Harris Administration designated May as “Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month” to bring broader visibility to Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities and their unique needs.
Read this year’s Proclamation on Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month from President Joe Biden.