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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Office of Minority Health

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Profile: Asian Americans

For additional data and statistics on Asian Americans in Massachusetts, click here. For additional data and statistics on Asian Americans in New Jersey, click here. For additional data and statistics on Asian Americans in New York, click here. For additional data and statistics on Asian Americans in Virginia, click here. For additional data and statistics on Asian Americans in Florida, click here. For additional data and statistics on Asian Americans in Illinois, click here. For additional data and statistics on Asian Americans in Texas, click here. For additional data and statistics on Asian Americans in Hawaii, click here. For additional data and statistics on Asian Americans in Hawaii, click here. For additional data and statistics on Asian Americans in Hawaii, click here. For additional data and statistics on Asian Americans in Hawaii, click here. For additional data and statistics on Asian Americans in California, click here. For additional data and statistics on Asian Americans in Washington State, click here.

Spotlight

 

(Map of the US with the top 10 states displaying the
largest Asian American population according to the Census Bureau)

CA - NY - HI - TX - NJ - IL - WA - FL - VA - MA

Overview (Demographics): This racial group is defined as people having origins in any of the original peoples of the East Asia, Southeast Asia, or the Indian subcontinent. According to the 2019 Census Bureau population estimate, there are 18.9 million Asian Americans, alone, living in the United States. Asian Americans account for 5.7 percent of the nation's population. In 2019, the following states had the largest Asian American populations: California, New York, Texas, New Jersey, Illinois, Washington, Florida, Virginia, Hawaii, Massachusetts.

Language Fluency: The percentage of persons 5 years or older who "do not speak English very well" varies among Asian American groups: 48.2 percent of Vietnamese, 42.0 percent of Chinese, 19.8 percent of Filipinos and 17.7 percent of Asian Indians are not fluent in English. Overall, 30.9 percent of Asian Americans are not fluent in English. In 2019, 73.5 percent of Asian Americans spoke a language other than English at home.

Educational Attainment: According to 2019 U.S. Census data, roughly 87.8 percent of all Asians in the United States 25 and older had at least a high school diploma, as compared to 93.3 percent of non-Hispanic whites. However, 55.6 percent of Asian Americans in comparison to 36.9 percent of the total non-Hispanic white population had earned at least a bachelor's degree. Among Asian subgroups, Taiwanese had the highest percentage of bachelor's degree or higher attainment at 78.8 percent. 24.7 percent of Asians held a graduate or professional degree, as compared to 14.3 percent of non-Hispanic whites.

Economics: According to 2019 Census data, the median household income of Asian Americans was $93,759, as compared to $71,664for non-Hispanic whites. Yet 9.6 percent of Asian Americans as compared to 9.0 percent of non-Hispanic whites, live at the poverty level. Economic status varies widely among Asian populations in the United States in 2019, with the poverty rate for Filipinos at 5.8 percent, as compared to 14.0 percent for Hmong. Regarding employment, 54.6 percent of Asian Americans were employed in management, professional and related occupations, compared with 44.8 percent of the non-Hispanic white population. In addition, the proportions employed in managerial sectors varied from 7.7 percent for Hmong to 26.8 percent for Asian Indians. In 2019, the overall unemployment rate for Asians was 3.5 percent, as compared to 3.7 percent for non-Hispanic whites.

Insurance Coverage: In 2019, insurance coverage among Asian American subgroups varied. Private insurance coverage rates: 65.7 percent for Cambodian, 78.8 percent for Filipino, 73.3 percent for Chinese, 62.0 percent for Hmong. Medicaid or public health insurance coverage rates: 31.8 percent for Vietnamese, 26.2 percent for Filipino, 27.0 percent for Chinese, 35.9 percent for Hmong, and 25.6 percent for all Asian groups. Asian subgroups also varied in uninsured status: 9.6 percent for Thai, 8.3 percent for Vietnamese, 7.3 percent for Hmong. In 2019, the overall private insurance coverage for both Asian Americans and non-Hispanic whites was 74.7 percent. 6.6 percent of Asian Americans were uninsured, as compared to 6.3 percent non-Hispanic white Americans.

Health: According to Census Bureau projections, the 2020 life expectancies at birth for Asian Americans are 80.7 years, with 82.7 years for women, and 78.4 years for men. For non-Hispanic whites the projected life expectancies are 80.6 years, with 82.7 years for women, and 78.4 years for men. Asian Americans contend with numerous factors which may threaten their health. Some negative factors are infrequent medical visits, language and cultural barriers, and lack of health insurance. Asian Americans are most at risk for the following health conditions: cancer, heart disease, stroke, unintentional injuries (accidents), and diabetes. Asian Americans also have a high prevalence of the following conditions and risk factors: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, hepatitis B, HIV/AIDS, smoking, tuberculosis, and liver disease.

Other Health Concerns: In 2019, tuberculosis was 33 times more common among Asians, with an incidence rate of 16.7 as compared to 0.5 for the non-Hispanic white population.1

Full Census Reports:

The Asian Population: 2010 [PDF | 2.96MB]
Language Use in the United States: 2011 [PDF | 1.4MB]
Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2019 [PDF | 1.29MB]
Income and Poverty in the United States: 2019 [PDF | 2.12MB]
Projected Life Expectancy at Birth by Sex, Race, and Hispanic Origin for the United States: 2015 to 2060. Table 17
Census Bureau, 2021. 2019 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates

1CDC, 2020. Tuberculosis Trends 2019.

Last Modified: 10/12/2021 12:47:00 PM