Monday, May 04, 2009

What Is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month?

Today I'm giving you some basic facts about APAH month.

(information taken from

May is Asian Pacific American (APA) Heritage Month—a celebration of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States. Much like Black History and Women's History celebrations, APA Heritage Month originated in a congressional bill.

Congressional Bills Establish Celebration

In June 1977, Representatives Frank Horton of New York and Norman Y. Mineta of California introduced a House resolution that called upon the president to proclaim the first ten days of May as Asian/Pacific Heritage Week. The following month, senators Daniel Inouye and Spark Matsunaga introduced a similar bill in the Senate. Both were passed.

On October 5, 1978, President Jimmy Carter signed a Joint Resolution designating the annual celebration.

APA Becomes Month-long Celebration

In May 1990, the holiday was expanded further when President George H. W. Bush designated May to be Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. May was chosen to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States on May 7, 1843, and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. The majority of the workers who laid the tracks were Chinese immigrants.

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month is celebrated with community festivals, government-sponsored activities, and educational activities for students.

Some interesting number facts: (information taken from

15.2 million
The estimated number of U.S. residents in July 2007 who said they were Asian alone or Asian in combination with one or more other races. This group comprised about 5 percent of the total population.

5 million
The Asian population in California, the state that had the largest Asian population on July 1, 2007, as well as the largest numerical increase from 2006 to 2007 (106,000). New York (1.4 million) and Texas (915,000) followed in population. Texas (44,000) and New York (33,000) followed in numerical increase. In Hawaii, Asians made up the highest proportion of the total population (55 percent), with California (14 percent) and New Jersey and Washington (8 percent each) next. Asians were the largest minority group in Hawaii and Vermont.

Percentage growth of the Asian population between 2006 and 2007, the highest of any race group during that time period. The increase in the Asian population during the period totaled 434,000.

3.45 million
Number of Asians of Chinese descent in the U.S. in 2007. Chinese-Americans were the largest Asian group, followed by Filipinos (3.05 million), Asian Indians (2.77 million), Vietnamese (1.64 million), Koreans (1.56 million) and Japanese (1.22 million). These estimates represented the number of people who were either of a particular Asian group only or were of that group in combination with one or more other Asian groups or races.


The percentage of single-race Asians 25 and older who had a bachelor's degree or higher level of education. This compared with 28 percent for all Americans 25 and older.

The percentage of single-race Asians 25 and older who had at least a high school diploma. This compared with 85 percent for all Americans 25 and older.

The percentage of single-race Asians 25 and older who had a graduate (e.g., master's or doctorate) or professional degree. This compared with 10 percent for all Americans 25 and older.

The Future

40.6 million
The projected number of U.S. residents in 2050 who will identify themselves as Asian or Asian in combination with one or more other races. They would comprise 9 percent of the total population by that year.

The projected percentage increase between 2008 and 2050 in the population of people who identify themselves as Asian or Asian in combination with one or more other races. This compares with a 44 percent increase in the population as a whole over the same period of time.


  1. Great post -- very informative. I like how it ties to your giveaway!

  2. Very interesting! Especially about Filipino's being the second largest Asian population after the Chinese! I would have thought Japanese.
    Thanks, keep up the updates!

  3. This is really interesting information. I'm impressed by the education section in particular.

  4. Thank you for all of the info!! Very educational and I really appreciate it, 'cause I don't get much info on other ethnic groups very often.


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