Chinese population in the U.S., 2000-2019

Year Population
2000 2,865,000
2010 4,010,000
2015 4,948,000
2019 5,399,000

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English proficiency of Chinese population in the U.S., 2019

Category English proficient
All 61%
U.S. born 93%
Foreign born 44%
Adults 57%
All Asians 72%

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Length of time in the U.S. for Chinese immigrants, 2000-2019

Year 0 to 10 years More than 10 years
2000 42% 58%
2010 36% 64%
2015 34% 66%
2019 34% 66%

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Year 0 to 10 years More than 10 years
2000 44% 56%
2010 36% 64%
2015 34% 66%
2019 34% 66%

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Educational attainment of Chinese population in the U.S., 2019

Category High school or less Some college Bachelor's degree Postgrad degree
All Chinese 29% 14% 28% 29%
U.S. born 12% 18% 43% 27%
Foreign born 34% 13% 24% 29%
All Asians 27% 19% 30% 24%
All Americans 39% 29% 20% 13%

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U.S. Chinese population living in poverty, 2019

Group All Americans All Asians All Chinese
All 13% 10% 13%
U.S. born 13% 9% 9%
Foreign born 14% 11% 15%

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Top 10 U.S. metropolitan areas by Chinese population, 2019

City Chinese population
New York 865,000
Los Angeles 678,000
San Francisco 582,000
San Jose, CA 239,000
Boston 174,000
Seattle 166,000
Washington 135,000
Chicago 135,000
Honolulu 117,000
Houston 111,000

Pew Research Center

Demographic characteristics of U.S. Chinese population, 2019

% (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 20 46
AGE
Younger than 5 7 6 14 <0.5
5-17 17 15 31 5
18-29 18 20 24 17
30-39 17 15 13 16
40-49 14 13 7 17
50-64 16 18 7 25
65+ 11 13 4 19
NATIVITY
U.S. born 43 38
Foreign born 57 62
YEARS IN U.S. (among foreign born)
0-5 years 21 22
6-10 years 13 12
11-15 years 11 10
16-20 years 12 12
21+ years 44 43
CITIZENSHIP (among foreign born)
U.S. citizen 59 58
Not a U.S. citizen 41 42
MARITAL STATUS (18 and older)
Married 59 58 36 65
Divorced/Separated/Widowed 11 10 7 12
Never married 30 32 57 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 13 13 13 14
Non-family household 15 19 17 20
IN A MULTIGENERATIONAL HOUSEHOLD
Multigenerational household 27 25 22 27

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 2017-2019 American Community Survey (IPUMS).

Pew Research Center

Economic characteristics of U.S. Chinese population, 2019

% (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 $85,800 $81,600 $100,000 $75,300
MEDIAN ANNUAL PERSONAL EARNINGS (ages 16 and older with positive earnings)
All $40,000 $45,000 $47,000 $42,700
Full-time, year-round workers $60,000 $65,000 $70,000 $62,000
EMPLOYMENT STATUS (civilians ages 16 and older)
Employed 64 60 65 58
Not employed 3 2 3 2
Not in labor force 34 37 32 39
UNEMPLOYMENT RATE (civilians ages 16 and older in the labor force) 4 4 5 3
LIVING IN POVERTY
All ages 10 13 9 15
Younger than 18 10 10 8 18
18-64 10 13 10 15
65 and older 12 17 7 18
HOMEOWNERSHIP (households)
Owner-occupied 59 63 61 64
Renter-occupied 41 37 39 36

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 2017-2019 American Community Survey (IPUMS).

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

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