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Cultural Diversity - Asian And Pacific Islanders

population immigrants united api

The Asian/Pacific Islander (API) grouping was 3.7 percent of the total population in 2000 and 2.4 percent of the older adults in the United States. This population includes Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Vietnamese, Asian Indian, and Korean Americans; as well as native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders. The API population has considerable linguistic and cultural variation in addition to different histories of immigration. The comparative recency of immigration strongly influences the composition of groups of Asian elders. Chinese and Japanese people have a longer history of migration to the United States. Today's elders from these ethnic groups (they make up over half of all API elders) are more likely to be the native-born children of earlier immigrants or were young immigrants themselves. They have had a lifetime of acculturation and participation in the American economy. In 1965 changes in federal law governing national origin quotas allowed new Asian migration streams of Korean, Asian Indian, and Vietnamese people, often in a family context that brought older relatives to the United States. These immigrants are now taking their place in the older population (Siegel, 1999).

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