Numbers, Facts and Trends Shaping Your World

Methodology: Asian American Fact Sheets

The analysis presented in Pew Research Center’s Asian American fact sheets and accompanying blog posts combines the latest data available from multiple data sources. The main source used is a three-year dataset constructed from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2017-2019 American Community Survey’s public-use files obtained from the Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMS). The ACS is used to present demographic and economic characteristics for each group. Additional data on population estimates were obtained from the Census Bureau’s 2012 report, “The Asian Population: 2010” (2000 and 2010) and tables available through Census Data.  Population projection figures are from the Census Bureau’s 2017 population projections.

Asians are identified as people who report their race to be Asian or any detailed Asian group, such as Chinese, Japanese or Pakistani, regardless of whether they also report Hispanic origin. Asians do not include people who self-identify only as Pacific Islanders. Self-identification as Asian may not necessarily match a respondent’s country of birth or their parents’ country of birth.

Population estimates for all groups include mixed-race and mixed-Asian group populations, regardless of Hispanic origin. As a result, there is some overlap in the numbers for the individual Asian groups because people with origins in more than one group are counted in each group to which they belong. For example, an individual identifying as “Chinese and Filipino” would be included in the totals for all Chinese and all Filipinos.

For characteristics based on ACS data, the mixed-race and mixed-group population is included for the six groups analyzed for which it is available: Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese. However, the figures presented will not precisely match published Census estimates because the public-use files are a sample of the full dataset used by Census and because they do not include all mixed-race and mixed-group combinations in order to protect respondent confidentiality.

Mixed-race and mixed-group characteristics:

  • Chinese
  • Filipino
  • Indian
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Vietnamese

Due to data limitations, the ACS analysis is based on single-race and single-group characteristics for the other 13 Asian groups analyzed in these fact sheets.

Single-race and single-group characteristics:

  • Bangladeshi
  • Bhutanese
  • Burmese
  • Cambodian
  • Hmong
  • Indonesian
  • Laotian
  • Malaysian
  • Mongolian
  • Nepalese
  • Pakistani
  • Sri Lankan
  • Thai
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