Chinese population in the U.S., 2000-2015


Year Population
2000 2,865,000
2010 4,010,000
2015 4,948,000

Pew Research Center

English proficiency of Chinese population in the U.S., 2015


Category English proficient
All 59%
U.S. born 92%
Foreign born 42%
Adults 53%
All Asians 70%

Pew Research Center

Length of time in the U.S. for Chinese immigrants, 2000-2015


Year 0 to 10 years More than 10 years
2000 42% 58%
2010 36% 64%
2015 34% 66%

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Year 0 to 10 years More than 10 years
2000 44% 56%
2010 36% 64%
2015 34% 66%

Pew Research Center

Educational attainment of Chinese population in the U.S., 2015


Category High school or less Some college Bachelor's degree Postgrad degree
All Chinese 31% 15% 27% 27%
U.S. born 14% 20% 41% 25%
Foreign born 36% 14% 23% 27%
All Asians 29% 20% 30% 21%
All Americans 41% 29% 19% 11%

Pew Research Center

U.S. Chinese population living in poverty, 2015


Group All Americans All Asians All Chinese
All 15.1% 12.1% 14.4%
U.S. born 14.7% 11.2% 10.5%
Foreign born 17.8% 12.8% 16.7%

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Top 10 U.S. metropolitan areas by Chinese population, 2015


City Chinese population
New York 798,000
Los Angeles 604,000
San Francisco 519,000
San Jose, CA 194,000
Boston 153,000
Washington, DC 125,000
Chicago 124,000
Seattle 119,000
Honolulu 114,000
Houston 99,000

Pew Research Center

Demographic characteristics of U.S. Chinese population, 2015

% (unless otherwise noted)

Among Chinese in the U.S.
All Asians
in the U.S.
All U.S. born Foreign born
MEDIAN AGE (in years) 34 36 19 45
AGE
Younger than 5 7 6 14 1
5-17 18 16 33 5
18-29 19 20 24 17
30-39 16 14 11 16
40-49 15 14 7 19
50-64 16 19 7 26
65+ 10 12 4 16
NATIVITY
U.S. born 41 37 - -
Foreign born 59 63 - -
YEARS IN U.S. (among foreign born)
0-5 years 20 - - 21
6-10 years 14 - - 13
11-15 years 13 - - 13
16-20 years 11 - - 11
21+ years 42 - - 42
CITIZENSHIP (among foreign born)
U.S. citizen 58 - - 58
Not a U.S. citizen 42 - - 42
MARITAL STATUS (18 and older)
Married 59 58 34 65
Divorced/Separated/Widowed 12 11 7 12
Never married 30 32 59 23
FERTILITY (among women ages 15 to 44)
Women who have given birth in the past 12 months 6 5 4 6
HOUSEHOLD TYPE, BY PERSONS
Married-couple household 71 68 70 67
Other family household 17 16 16 15
Non-family household 12 16 14 18
IN A MULTIGENERATIONAL HOUSEHOLD
Multigenerational household 26 25 21 28

Note: Family households are those with a household head and one or more persons living in the household who are related to the household head by birth, marriage or adoption. Households with a household head and an unmarried partner are only considered family households if there are other persons in the household who are related to the household head by birth, marriage or adoption. Multigenerational households are households with two or more adult generations or one that includes grandparents and grandchildren. Figures may not sum to 100% due to rounding. Chinese also includes those identifying as Taiwanese. Figures for Chinese and all Asians based on mixed-race and mixed-group populations, regardless of Hispanic origin. See methodology for more detail.
Source: Pew Research Center analysis of 2013-2015 American Community Survey (IPUMS).

Pew Research Center

Economic characteristics of U.S. Chinese population, 2015

% (unless otherwise noted)

Among Chinese in the U.S.
All Asians
in the U.S.
All U.S. born Foreign born
MEDIAN ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME $73,060 $70,000 $86,000 $65,000
MEDIAN ANNUAL PERSONAL EARNINGS (ages 16 and older with positive earnings)
All $35,600 $38,000 $40,000 $37,100
Full-time, year-round workers $51,000 $58,000 $60,000 $55,000
EMPLOYMENT STATUS (civilians ages 16 and older)
Employed 61 59 62 58
Not employed 4 4 4 3
Not in labor force 35 38 34 39
UNEMPLOYMENT RATE (civilians ages 16 and older in the labor force) 6.0 5.8 6.4 5.5
LIVING IN POVERTY
All ages 12.1 14.4 10.5 16.7
Younger than 18 12.0 10.4 9.2 16.6
18-64 12.1 15.3 12.2 16.3
65 and older 12.8 17.2 7.1 18.6
HOMEOWNERSHIP (households)
Owner-occupied 57 62 63 62
Renter-occupied 43 38 37 38

Note: The household population excludes persons living in institutions, college dormitories and other group quarters. Households are classified by the race or detailed Asian group of the head. “Full-time, year-round workers” are defined as people ages 16 and older who usually worked at least 35 hours per week and at least 48 weeks in the past year. The share of the population ages 16 and older who are not employed differs from the unemployment rate because the share not employed is based on the total population, while the unemployment rate is based on those who are in the labor force (i.e. working or looking for work). Poverty status is determined for individuals in housing units and non-institutional group quarters. It is unavailable for children younger than 15 who are not related to the householder, people living in institutional group quarters and people living in college dormitories or military barracks. Due to the way in which the IPUMS assigns poverty values, these data will differ from those provided by the U.S. Census Bureau. Figures may not sum to 100% due to rounding. Chinese also includes those identifying as Taiwanese. Figures for Chinese and all Asians based on mixed-race and mixed-group populations, regardless of Hispanic origin. See methodology for more detail.
Source: Pew Research Center analysis of 2013-2015 American Community Survey (IPUMS).

Pew Research Center

Find out more

Explore fact sheets on other Asian groups in the U.S.

Read the methodology.

The Asian American fact sheets were compiled by Gustavo López, research analyst, Anthony Cilluffo, research assistant, and Eileen Patten, former research analyst.