2010 Census and 2008-2010 American Community Survey Report
By the Council on Asian Pacific Minnesotans
This report will provide an overview of Asian and Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander populations based on the 2010 Census and the 2008-2010 American Community Survey. Five race categories are used in the Census; White, Black or African American, American Indian or Alaska Native (AIAN), Asian, and Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islanders (NHPI) and Hispanic Origin. For the first time in Census 2000, individuals were also able to select ‘one or more boxes’ on race to allow individuals of mixed race backgrounds to identify as such. This option continued with the 2010 Census. This report primarily focuses on the Asian and NHPI populations.
The U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) defines “Asian” as people with origins in the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, and the Indian subcontinent. For the 2010 Census, individuals were able to self-identified under seven Asian response categories; Asian Indian, Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese or Other Asian.
The OMB definition of “NHPI” is persons having origins in any of the original peoples of Hawaii, Guam, Samoa, or other Pacific Islands. NHPI were able to self-identify under four Pacific Islander response groups; Native Hawaiian, Guamanian or Chamorro, Samoan, and Other Pacific Islanders.
The American Community Survey is a survey that provides communities with information they need to plan investments and services. For the purpose of this report, we will draw from communities that self-identify in the Asian ancestry groups. The U.S. Census Bureau defines ancestry as a “person’s ethnic origin, heritage, descent, or “roots” which may reflect their place of birth or that of previous generations of their family”.
➢ Race alone population- People who reported a single race group (e.g. Asian; NHPI)
➢ Race in combination population- People who reported more than one major race group (e.g. Asian and White; NHPI and White)
➢ Race alone or in combination population-All people who reported a particular race group, either alone, or in combination with one or more other major race groups
Introduction: Who are the Asian Pacific Americans?
Historically, census enumeration for Asian Pacific Islander populations were determined by which groups immigrated to the United States or when the United States acquired territories. The first data collection for Asian populations was in the mid-nineteenth century when the first Asian immigrant groups, Chinese and Japanese, came to the United States. Census data for Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders (NHPI) became available after the United States acquired the various island territories in the late 1800’s. Asian Pacific Americans have been enumerated since 1880, however, their presence comprised of less than 0.2% of the population for nearly 70 years.
Early Asian settlers were typically Chinese or Japanese males who were hired as cheap laborers or railroad layers in the west coast. For over 60 years, set immigration quotas had a large impact on the number of persons that were able to work and live in the United States. For example, the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act which suspended Chinese immigration, the “Gentlemen’s Agreement of 1907” curtailed immigration of Japanese Laborers, and the Immigration Act of 1917 which further suspended the migration of peoples from Asian and Pacific Islands. However, in the 1940’s, with the growing relations between countries during World War II the situation of exclusionary immigration laws changed and by the 1950’s many laws began to be repealed and special acts were implemented to increase immigration.
Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders history in the United States differ from many Asian groups because the NHPI population grew as the United States acquired Pacific Island territories. For instance, in 1898 the United States annexed the Hawaiian Islands and created the Territory of Hawaii. Hawaii became the center of American military power and officially became the fiftieth state of the United States in 1959. Other Pacific Islands also became American territories in the mid-1900’s and the Census Bureau began enumerating the Native Hawaiian and Pacific Island populations at this time. Prior to 1980, the Census Bureau only listed Native Hawaiians and so characteristics of growth and trends for the various Pacific Island ethnic groups were not available until then.
With the enactment of the Immigration Act of 1965, all immigration quotas based on national origin was eliminated. This helped facilitate the dramatic changes in demographic distribution of Asian Pacific Islanders in the United States in the 1970’s. Around this time, the Asian American population grew significantly as post-War refugees from Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia came to escape persecution from their home countries. Between 1970 and 1980 the Asian population doubled and from 1980 to 1990 it doubled again which quadrupled the population of Asians in a 20-year span.
More recently, foreign-born Asians have come to the United States seeking educational and occupational opportunities. In the past decade, Asians had the largest population growth nationwide compared to any other race or origin, at 43.3% Asian alone (or 45.6% alone or in combination). That is a growth of 4.4 million individuals who self-identify as Asian alone (or 5.4 million as Asian alone or in combination). Similarly, Pacific Islanders had a significant increase of 35.4% (or 40.1% alone or in combination), a growth of 41,178 individuals who self-identified as NHPI alone (or 350,781 as alone or in combination).
There are ethnic, geographic and socioeconomic distinctions between Asian and Pacific Islander groups which are illustrated in their population, economic, housing and social characteristics. The racial categorization by the Census Bureau allows these groups to be distinct and independent of each other. However, the many shared cultural and racial histories between and within the Asian Pacific communities in the United States contributes to the identification of Asian Pacific Islander Americans as a whole, and is often referred as the Asian Pacific Islander community.
Minnesota’s Asian Pacific Population
Each individual Asian Pacific ethnic group has their own experiences in immigration, settlement, and way of life in the United States. Over the decades, race categorization has expanded to recognize the diversity within the Asian Pacific Islander community. Like the rest of the nation, Minnesota’s early Asian Pacific population mainly consisted of Chinese, Japanese and Filipinos. The earliest documentation of Asians in Minnesota was in 1880 when two Chinese men established the Chinese Laundry in St. Paul and the Lung Wing Laundry in Minneapolis. Others came to Minnesota from other states as foreign exchange students or as foreign laborers seeking economic opportunity.
During the 1970’s, Minnesota experienced a large influx of refugees from Southeast Asia. Large population of Lao, Cambodian, Vietnamese and Hmong arrived in seek of asylum. For example, the Vietnamese known as the ‘boat people’ came to the United States fleeing repressive communist government in 1975. The Hmong, who supported American troops during the Vietnam War, came to the United States as political refugees. The Lao and Cambodians came because they were employed by the U.S. government and companies in Asia.
In the past two decades, other Asian groups have migrated to Minnesota to seek refuge from repressive government. Tibetans have arrived in the United States as part of the U.S. Tibetan Resettlement Project (under the 1990 Immigration Act). Minnesota is home to an estimated 3,000 Tibetans, the second largest Tibetan-American community in the United States. The Karen (pronounced Ka-REN), a minority group from Burma and Thailand, have been persecuted by the Burmese military junta and it is estimated that Minnesota is home to the largest population of Karen outside Southeast Asia.
More recently, many foreign-born Asian Pacific groups have immigrated to Minnesota seeking professional, educational and social opportunities. Career advancement in the informational technology and business fields draw many people to Minnesota. Individuals that migrate to the U.S. for specialized jobs or for furthering their education will eventually bring family members. For many immigrants, it is important to connect with the larger ethnic community in their area which has helped develop local cultural organizations to meet the needs of the growing Asian Pacific populations.
A closer look at Minnesota’s population shows that the demographic makeup of Minnesota is changing. From 2000 to 2010, the total population of Minnesota grew 7.8% with the total population at 5.3 million. The population of color increased 56.7% that is 337,335 individuals who identified as Black or African American, AIAN, Asian, NHPI, or Hispanic or Latino (alone or in combination). Minnesota’s Asian population grew at 52.2%, an increase of 84,718 individuals who identified as either Asian alone or in combination. The Asian population makes up 4.7% of the total population and increased from 3.3% in 2000 (Asian alone or in combination). Minnesota’s NHPI population is the smallest major race group, making up only 0.1% of the total population, however, the NHPI population also saw a growth of 5.8% (NHPI alone or in combination). This is an increase of 339 individuals that identified as NHPI, making the total NHPI population 6,206.
Minnesota’s Asian Pacific population makes up 4.8% of the population which is less than the national average of 6.0% (alone or in combination). The make-up of Minnesota’s Asian population is different compared to the rest of the nation. The nation’s three largest Asian groups are Chinese, Filipinos, and Asian Indians. In Minnesota, the three largest Asian populations are the Hmong, Asian Indians, and the Chinese.
From 2000 to 2010 all selected categories of Asian population grew in Minnesota. Minnesota’s percentage of Southeast Asian population ranks first among the nation. Approximately 50.2% of Asian population identifies as Southeast Asian compared to the national average of 20.7%. Southeast Asian includes Burmese, Cambodian, Hmong, Laotian, Thai, and Vietnamese.
Nationwide, South Asians (Bangladeshi, Pakistanis, Sri Lankans, and Asian Indians) saw the highest rates of growth and in Minnesota this holds true. In Minnesota, the South Asian population doubled from 2000 to 2010, from 21,925 to 42,739, which is approximately 18% the Asian population. Although the population size of these groups may be relatively small, they contribute to the South Asian population as a whole.
The Hmong population is still the largest Asian population in Minnesota increasing
45.6% from 2000 to 2010, an estimated 20,738. They are mainly concentrated in the Hennepin and Ramsey County area, with Ramsey County having the largest Hmong population at 34,374, which is 59.0% of the Asian population in Ramsey County.
In 2000, Chinese, except Taiwanese, were the 4th largest group; a decade later they are the 3rd largest Asian group in Minnesota with 28,776 individuals identifying as Chinese.
The Vietnamese moved from being the 2nd largest group to the 4th largest group, although they still grew at 31.7%, an increase of 6,516.
Among all states Minnesota is home to the
➢ Second largest number of Hmong
➢ Third largest population of Laotians
➢ Fifth largest population of Burmese
➢ Sixth largest population of Cambodians
➢ Sixteenth largest population of Vietnamese
Top ten Asian ethnic groups with the largest
percent growth from 2000 to 2010
➢ Bangladeshi, 175.9%
➢ Pakistani, 143.6%
➢ Sri Lankan, 94.6%
➢ Asian Indian, 90.8%
➢ Taiwanese, 82.7%
➢ Thai, 82.5%
➢ Filipino, 61.5%
➢ Indonesian, 55.0%
➢ Chinese (except Taiwanese), 54.5%
➢ Cambodian, 46.1%
There are Asians living in every county of Minnesota with enclaves scattered throughout the state. In general, Minnesotan Asians are concentrated in the seven-county region; Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott, Sterns and Washington and Olmstead and St. Louis. Hennepin County has the largest total Asian population at an estimated 70,439. Ramsey County has the second largest population of Asians at an estimated 58,248. Over half of the Asian population in Minnesota lives in these two counties.
Sex and Age
Sex and age is used as an indicator of population growth and age structure of a population.
In general, the Asian and Pacific Islander populations are younger than the population of the United States, and this holds true in Minnesota. The median age for Minnesota’s Asians is 27.3, making them on average ten years younger than the total population median age at 37.4.
➢ A larger percentage of Asians are under 18, at 31.5% compared to the rest of the state at 24.2%.
➢ Sixty four percent of Asians, an estimated 136,623 individuals, are of a working-age between 18 and 64. A large proportion of the working age group are graduating college and seeking employment (ages 25 to 29).
➢ A smaller number of Asians are 65 and older compared to the state’s average.
English language ability can prove to be a barrier that impacts the access of services such as healthcare, social services, housing, courts and education.
Nation-wide, more than a third of the Asian American population is considered limited
English proficient. Persons who speak English less than “very well” are considered limited English proficient and are thought to need English assistance in some situations. In Minnesota, approximately 142,846 people speak Asian and Pacific Island languages at home, 2.9% of the total population.
➢ One in five of Minnesota’s Asians (native and foreign-born) speaks only English.
➢ Approximately 22% of Minnesota’s Asian households are linguistically isolated. Linguistic isolation is when no one 14 years old and over speak only English or speaks a non-English language and speaks English “very well.”
➢ In the United States the largest groups of languages spoken by Asians are composed of languages from China, however, in Minnesota the largest group of languages spoken by Asians is Hmong.
Minnesota is attractive to immigrants for a number of reasons; strong economy, good quality of life, educational opportunities and a history of strong volunteerism and immigration resettlement.
➢ Minnesota is home to diverse Asian and Pacific Islander ethnic groups, many who come to the U.S. legally as refugees and asylum seekers, for employment, or for family reunification.
➢ Those that come to the United States as refugees or asylum seekers are fleeing persecution from their country of origin. For example, a large number of the Hmong had resided in Laos and Thailand before coming to the United States.
➢ A high percentage of immigrants are of working age 18-64, 85.5%, compared to native-born residents.
Asians have the highest foreign-born rates in the nation. In Minnesota, the foreign-born population accounts for 7.1% of the total population, 376,470 individuals. Foreign-born Asians in Minnesota make up 62.4% of the Asian population; this is larger than any racial group.
Benefits to citizens include; voting, bringing family members to the United State, obtaining citizenship for children born abroad, traveling with a U.S. passport, becoming eligible for Federal jobs, becoming an elected official, and showing your patriotism.
Nation-wide, a large portion of the Asian Pacific Islander population is naturalized citizens compared to other race categories. Of the foreign-born population in Minnesota that was born in Asian, approximately 56.9% are naturalized citizens.
➢ Of the Foreign-born Asians, 18 years and over, 34.3% are not US Citizen, which limits participation in civic activities for a large portion of the Asian population.
➢ Korean, Filipino, Cambodian and Vietnamese have the highest percent of individuals that are naturalized citizens.
➢ In contrast, Asian Indian, Hmong, Chinese and Laotian have the highest percent of individuals that are not U.S. citizens.
Home ownership is an important indication of economic and social factors such as permanence in the state, investment in neighborhood, family connectedness, and a strong economy.
In 2010, 89.4% of Minnesota’s housing units were occupied while 10.6% of these units were vacant. Approximately 57,000 housing units are occupied by Asian householder owners or renters. The average homeownership rate in Minnesota is 73.6% and all race groups, besides non-Hispanic White, have below average homeownership rates.
➢ 59.3% of Minnesota’s Asians are homeowners, while 40.7% rent their homes. The proportion of Asian homeowners is less than the state’s total homeownership rates.
➢ NHPI have a slightly lower proportion of homeownership than Asians at 47.3%.
The makeup of Asian households is different than the rest of the state. The average household size in Minnesota is 2.5 people per household while MN Asians average household size is 3.5. Household size affects overcrowded conditions of the household; overcrowdedness is defined as more than one person per room. In Minnesota, 9.8% of Asians in Minnesota live in overcrowded households. This is in contrast to the state average of 1.7%. Homeownership among the Asian ancestry groups differ significantly.
➢ Homeownership among Filipino, Vietnamese, and Chinese are highest. Filipinos have a higher percentage of homeownership than the state’s average.
➢ In contrast, Asian Indian, Hmong and Laotians have the highest percentage of renters.
School enrollment levels may indicate trends in the population aged 3 and older and can be used to project the increase or decrease of students in school and the future workforce.
In Minnesota, there are over 1.4 million children enrolled in school. Minnesota Asians make up 5.4% of the total enrolled student population, which is an estimated 76,496 students.
➢ The school level with the largest number of enrolled students is college, with 17,970 Asian students.
➢ The second largest number of students enrolled in a school level is high school grades 9 to 12 with 16,121 students.
School enrollment varies by county and by district. Over half of the Asian students in
Minnesota are enrolled in the Hennepin County and Ramsey County.
➢ In Hennepin County, 7.8% (23,840) of students are Asian. In Ramsey County, 15.8%
(22,638) of students are Asians.
Educational attainment is defined by the U.S. Census Bureau as “the highest level of education completed in terms of the highest degree or the highest level of schooling completed”.
Educational attainment is an indicator of future job security, economic security, and future opportunities to build assets. Nationally, there is a high percentage of Asians with less than a high school diploma and a high percentage of Asians with a bachelor’s degree compared to non-Hispanic Whites. The educational profile of Asians illustrates the varying educational attainment levels within the Asian communities in Minnesota.
➢ Of Asians 25 and older, 19.6% had less than a high school diploma a rate which exceeds Minnesota’s average of 8.5%.
➢ The percentage of Asians with a bachelor’s degree or higher is 42.7% which is higher than Minnesota’s average 31.6%.
Approximately 41.5% of Minnesota’s Asians population has a high school degree or higher compared to the state’s average of 29.7%. A closer look at ancestry groups reveals a large disparity within the Asian American community.
➢ The educational attainment among the Hmong, Cambodian, Laotian and Vietnamese is the lowest among Asians in Minnesota.
➢ In contrast, Asian Indian, Korean, Filipino and Chinese have the highest percentage of individuals with bachelor’s degrees or graduate degrees.
➢ Approximately 43.7% of the Hmong population has less than high school diplomas.
➢ Only 0.8% of Cambodians and 0.5% of Laotians hold a graduate degree.
➢ 47.6% of the Asian Indian population has a graduate degree or higher.
A majority of Asian Americans are working-age adults thus the employment of Asians in
Minnesota is particularly important for our current and future workforce.
Minnesota’s Asians make up approximately 3.7% of the labor force, an estimated 105,780 individual. However, roughly one in ten Asians in the civilian labor force are without work. The employment of Asian ancestry groups vary significantly.
➢ The unemployment rate of Minnesota’s Asian population (9.2%) is lower compared to other racial categories, but this is still higher than Minnesota’s total unemployment rate, which is at 7.1%
There are varying rates of unemployment among ancestry groups, many of which are below or exceed the state’s unemployment rate of 7.1%.
➢ Lao, Cambodian and Hmong populations have unemployment rate higher than the state’s average.
➢ In contrast, Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese, Asian Indian and Filipino are below the state’s unemployment rate.
Occupation is the principal activity in a person’s life which may influence income earnings and potential career opportunities.
Minnesota’s Asians are employed in all occupational categories; management, professional and related occupations, service occupations, sales and office occupations, construction, extraction and maintenance occupations, and production, transportation and material moving occupations. A large proportion of the Asian population is working in managerial or professional occupations and production, transportation and material moving occupations.
➢ Approximately 42.0% Minnesota’s Asians are working in management, business, science, and arts professional fields.
➢ Minnesota’s Asians are more likely than the total population to work in production, transportation, and material moving.
➢ Minnesota’s Asian ancestry groups (East Asian, South Asian, Southeast Asian, Asian, others) are disproportionately employed in occupational categories.
➢ The Southeast Asian ancestry group makes up the largest employment in the production, transportation and material moving occupations with 16.8%, approximately 20,000 individuals are employed in this occupation.
➢ Furthermore, the South Asian ancestry group makes up the most significant proportion in the management, professional and related occupations at 15.4%, or 18,330 individuals.
Income is an indicator of socioeconomic status among your community.
Minnesota’s Asians and Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders have median household incomes higher than that of the general population. However, Asian households are more likely to have more workers per household which contributes to the overall household income. When comparing per capita income, Asians and NHPI populations have per capita incomes below that of Minnesota’s population overall.
Per capita income
➢ At $22,177, Asian Americans earn less per capita income than non-Hispanic Whites but more than other racial groups.
➢ At $21,231, NHPI earn less per capita income than non-Hispanic Whites.
➢ Between 2008 and 2010, there is a 7.5% (1,290 households) increase in the number of Asian households that have a household income of less than $10,000.
➢ NHPI have a smaller median household income than the average household in Minnesota.
The range of household income varies by Asian ancestry group.
➢ Median household income of Asian Indian, Chinese, Filipino, Korean, and Vietnamese is higher than Minnesota’s average median household income.
➢ In contrast, Cambodian, Hmong and Laotian have lower median household incomes than Minnesota’s average median household income.
Poverty has a significant effect on the lifestyles of individuals, families and the people in your community. These effects include, but are not limited to; lower living standards, lack of food and shelter, poor health, higher incidents of illness, lower academic achievement, and higher rates of crime.
Asian Americans have higher poverty rates than non-Hispanic whites, but lower poverty rates than other communities of color. One in six of Minnesota’s Asians live below the poverty line, that is a 16.9% or 34,759 individuals who live below $11,139 per year. Poverty among Asian ancestry groups vary significantly.
➢ The Hmong have the highest percentage of poverty at 32.1%. That is one in three Hmong who live below the poverty line.
➢ One in three Laotians lives below the poverty line.
➢ Nearly one in six Cambodians lives below the poverty line.
➢ In contrast, 10.0% or less of Chinese, Korean, Filipino and Asian Indians live below the poverty line.
Child and Senior Poverty
Child poverty has negative impact on outcomes such as school readiness, overall health and adult productivity. For our seniors, as the generation of baby boomers age their economic security will influence the nation’s health and social services.
Minnesota’s children are more likely to live in poverty than a decade ago. Of Minnesota‘s Asians: one in five children live below the poverty line and one in five seniors (ages 65+) live below the poverty line.
➢ Hmong and Lao communities have the highest proportion of children who live in poverty. Over one-third of Hmong and Lao children live below the poverty line.
➢ One-sixth of Cambodian children live in poverty.
➢ In contrast, less than 10% of Chinese, Filipino, Korean and Asian Indian children live below the poverty line.
Health insurance may influence health outcomes, the probability of having seen a doctor, access to hospital care and health status of individuals.
Nationwide, the number of uninsured increased in the past decade. In Minnesota, nearly one in five of Minnesota’s Asians is not insured.
➢ Minnesota’s Asian ages 45 and older are more likely to be uninsured compared to the rest of the state.
➢ In contrast, Asian children 5 years and under are more likely to be insured compared to Minnesota’s total population.
A closer look at the uninsured by ancestry indicates variation between Asian ancestry groups.
➢ Cambodian, Hmong and Vietnamese have the highest percent of uninsured.
➢ One in six Cambodians do not have health insurance.
➢ One in eight Hmong and Vietnamese do not have health insurance.
➢ In contrast, over 90% of Chinese, Laotian, Korean, Filipino and Asian Indians do have health insurance.
For more information visit www.capm.state.mn.us, the Web site of the Council on Asian Pacific Minnesotans.