APA Heritage Month Quick Facts

So today I want to cover Chinese and Vitamanese cultures.

CHINESE

The Chinese American community is the largest ethnic group of Asian Americans, comprising of 22.4% of the Asian American population.  Any ethnic Chinese born in the United States are automatically American citizens which is based on the Supreme Court decision related to the fourteenth amendment and the case 1898 United States v. Wong Kim Ark

Some famous Chinese Americans include:

  • Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao
  • Michael Chang – Tennis player
  • David Chu – fashion designer and founder of Nautica
  • Andrea Jung – CEO, Avon products
  • Bruce Lee – martial artist, kung fu actor
  • Maya Lin  – architect (Vietnam Veterans Memorial)
  • Amy Tan – writer
  • David Wu – first and only Chinese American U.S. Representative, Democrat from Oregon

As always in my research I came across this interesting site about  the Chinese Students Memorial Society.  The organization was founded to honor Yong Wing [Rong Hong], a graduate of Yale University in 1854 whom became the first Chinese national to graduate from an American university.

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Vietnamese

Vietnamese Americans are either first- or second-generation Americans.  And based on the current population Vietnamese Americans is the fourth-largest group of Asian Americans.  Before 1975 , most Vietnamese residing in the United States were wives and children of American servicemen in Vietnam or academia.  But after the Vietnam War there were two big waves of Vietnamese immigrants which underwent various forms of discrimination.

Some notable Vietnamese Americans are:

  • Betty Nguyen – CNN anchor
  • Trung Dung – entrepreneur, millionaire
  • Le Ly Hayslip – Author of “When Heaven and Earth Changed Places,” which was turned into a motion picture (Heaven & Earth) directed by Oliver Stone
  • Bui Tuong Phong – computer graphics pioneer

Interesting article about Vietnamese Americans on Asian Nation.

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I know we haven’t covered all of the cultures associated with Asian Pacific American Heritage month and this is the last day of the month.  So we wanted to leave you with this chart we got from Wikipedia covering the population of Asian and Pacific American cultures during the 2000 census.

Ancestry 1990 1990 % of US population 2000 2000 % of US population Percent change from 1990 to 2000
Chinese 1,505,229 0.6% 2,271,562 0.8% increased 50.9%
Taiwanese negligible
(no data)
negligible
(no data)
326,215 0.1% negligible
(no data)
Japanese 1,004,622 0.45% 1,103,325 0.4% increased 9.8%
Korean 836,987 0.35% 1,190,353 0.45% increased 42.2%
Total 3,346,838 1.4% 4,891,455 1.75% increased 47.8%
Ancestry 1990 1990 % of US population 2000 2000 % of US population Percent change from 1990 to 2000
Indian 569,338 0.23% 1,546,703 0.54% increased 171.7%
Pakistani 99,974 0.04% 253,193 0.09% increased 153.3%
Total 669,312 0.27% 1,799,896 0.63% increased 183.8%
Ancestry 1990 1990 % of US population 2000 2000 % of US population Percent change from 1990 to 2000
Cambodian 135,955 0.05% 197,093 0.07% increased 46%
Filipino 1,450,512 0.6% 2,116,476 0.8% increased 46%
Hmong 84,823 0.03% 140,528 0.05% increased 65.7%
Laotian 146,947 0.06% 204,284 0.07% increased 35%
Thai 112,110 0.04% 169,801 0.06% increased 30.7%
Vietnamese 535,825 0.2% 1,529,420 0.6% increased 185.5%
Total 2,466,172 0.98% 4,357,602 1.65% increased 80%
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