Asian Americans in California

Asian Californians are residents of the state of California who are of Asian ancestry. California has the largest Asian American population in the U.S., and second highest proportion of Asian American residents, after Hawaii. As of the 2010 U.S. Census, Asian-Americans were 13.6% of the state's population.[2] The largest Asian American ethnic subgroups in California are Filipino Americans, Chinese Americans, Vietnamese Americans, and Indian Americans. Asian Americans in California are concentrated in the San Francisco and Los Angeles metropolitan areas.

Asian Americans in California
Total population
5,556,692 (13.6%)
English, Spanish[1] Chinese, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Hindustani, Korean, Japanese, Khmer, Hmong, Thai, Lao, other Languages of Asia
Protestantism, Catholicism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Sikhism, Irreligion, Others
Related ethnic groups
Asian Americans


Including those with partial Asian ancestry, the following Asian ethnic groups in California are: Filipino (3.9%, 1,474,707), Chinese (except Taiwanese; 3.6%, 1,349,111), Vietnamese (647,589, 1.7%), Indians (590,445, 1.5%), Koreans (505,225, 1.3%), Japanese (428,014, 1.1%), Taiwanese (109,928, 0.2%), Cambodians (102,317, 0.2%), Hmong (91,224, 0.2%), Laotians (69,303, 0.2%), Thai (67,707, 0.1%), Pakistanis (53,474, 0.1%), Indonesians (39,506, 0.1%), Burmese (17,978, 0.05%), Sri Lankans (11,929, 0.03%), Bangladeshis (10,494, 0.03%), Nepalese (6,231, 0.01%), Malaysians (5,595, 0.01%), Mongolians (4,993, 0.1%), Singaporeans (1,513, 0.004%), Okinawans (1,377, 0.003%), and Bhutanese (750, 0.001%).[2]

Ethnic GroupsEdit


There are many Cambodians in Long Beach, Stockton, and Fresno.


San Francisco is 21.4% Chinese, and the San Francisco Bay Area is 8% Chinese. Many of the Chinese Americans are Cantonese-speaking immigrants or descendants from Guangdong province and Hong Kong. There are also many Taiwanese and mainland Chinese immigrants in the Silicon Valley area.

Los Angeles is 1.8% Chinese, and Los Angeles County is 4% Chinese. A large portion of the Chinese population resides in the San Gabriel Valley. Areas with notable Chinese and Chinese-American populations include Chinatown in Los Angeles, the San Gabriel Valley/ the 626 (Arcadia, Alhambra, El Monte, Monterey Park, Rosemead, San Gabriel, Temple City), Rowland Heights, Diamond Bar, Hacienda Heights, and the Los Angeles County/Orange County border cities of Cerritos and Artesia. Chinatown in Los Angeles is populated by mostly working-class Cantonese and mainland Chinese while the western San Gabriel Valley has a diverse Chinese and Taiwanese population. Rowland Heights and the Eastern San Gabriel Valley is mainly populated by Taiwanese.

In Orange County, Irvine has a large Chinese and Taiwanese population.


The majority of Filipinos in California reside in the Greater Los Angeles area. According to a 2013 study, there are 1.5 million Filipino Americans in California,[3] making them one of the largest Asian ethnic groups in the state. Since 2018 the population has grown to 1.6 million according to some sources.[4]


As of the 2010 census, a little over 91,000 Hmong live in California alone, out of the total 260,000 in the country.[5]


California has the most Indian Americans in terms of sheer number, but percentage-wise the state with the highest number of Indian Americans is New Jersey.


Los Angeles, California is home to the largest population of Indonesians in America, with Riverside, California having the second largest population.[6]


California contains five of the top 10 metropolitan cities with the greatest Japanese population in the United States.[7] Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose, San Diego, and Sacramento have the largest Japanese populations in California, with Los Angeles having more than the other cities combined.

There are several areas of California that held assembly centers and internment camps (also known as relocation centers) where Japanese Americans were forced to relocate to after the Attack on Pearl Harbor, such as Arcadia(Santa Anita Racetrack), Fresno(Fresno Fairgrounds), Arboga, Merced, Owens Valley(Manzanar War Relocation Center), Pinedale(Pinedale, California), Pomona(Fairplex), Sacramento(Camp Kohler), Salinas(California Rodeo Salinas), San Bruno(Tanforan), Stockton, California(San Joaquin County Fairgrounds), Tulare, Turlock(Stanislaus County Fairgrounds), and Woodland. The Tule Lake War Relocation Centerin Modoc Countywas the biggest of the 10 internment camps in its prime.


Koreans make up 16% of the Asian Pacific Islander (API) community in Los Angeles County, the highest percentage in the entire country. In the API community of California, Koreans comprise 9% of the population, but only 1% of the total population.[8]


California is the top state in the country with the largest Laotian population, which as of 2015 is 271,000 across the country.[9] Among the population of Laotians, Hmong people are counted as well.


Los Angeles is second to New York in terms of population, however the combined population of Malay in Los Angeles and San Francisco is equal to New York.[10]


Los Angeles is home to the largest percentage of Taiwanese Americans in the country.


California possesses the largest Thai population outside of Asia, and is the only state in the country that has a designated "Thai Town," which is also the first of its kind globally.

Of the 5.6 million Asian people in California, approximately 68,000 are Thai, which is 28.5% of the entire Thai population in the United States.[11]


Totally (647,589, 1.7%) Vietnamese in California .

San Jose is 10% Vietnamese, and the San Francisco Bay Area has a sizable Vietnamese population.

Orange County has a large Vietnamese population, with much of the population in Garden Grove.

Notable PeopleEdit

This is a list of notable people of Asian descent who were either born, raised, or spent a significant amount of time in their formative years in California.

Art & DesignEdit





Acting & FilmmakingEdit







News, Media, & JournalismEdit





See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Jonathan H. X. Lee; Kathleen M. Nadeau (2011). Encyclopedia of Asian American Folklore and Folklife. ABC-CLIO. pp. 333–334. ISBN 978-0-313-35066-5. Since the Philippines was colonized by Spain, Filipino Americans in general can speak and understand Spanish too.
  2. ^ a b "California QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau". 2011. Archived from the original on December 28, 2009. Retrieved October 6, 2013.
  3. ^ Bureau, INQUIRER net US. "Filipinos are biggest Asian group in California—new study". Retrieved 2020-02-14.
  4. ^ "Historically underrepresented, Filipino-American candidates look toward Congress".
  5. ^ "Hmong Population in the U.S. | Hmong American Center". Retrieved 2020-02-14.
  6. ^ "Top 10 metro areas by Indonesian American population". Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends Project. Retrieved 2020-02-14.
  7. ^ "Japanese in the U.S. Fact Sheet".
  8. ^ "Census Demographics and Citizenship". Korean American Coalition. Retrieved 2020-02-14.
  9. ^ "Laotians | Data on Asian Americans". Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends Project. Retrieved 2020-02-14.
  10. ^ "Malaysians | Data on Asian Americans". Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends Project. Retrieved 2020-02-17.
  11. ^ "Our Community". Thai Community Development Center.

External linksEdit