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

Year Population
2000 1,160,000
2010 1,316,000
2015 1,423,000
2019 1,498,000

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

Category English proficient
All 85%
U.S. born 98%
Foreign born 53%
Adults 84%
All Asians 72%

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

Year 0 to 10 years More than 10 years
2000 51% 49%
2010 41% 59%
2015 36% 64%
2019 37% 63%

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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 Japanese population in the U.S., 2019

Category High school or less Some college Bachelor's degree Postgrad degree
All 21% 27% 34% 18%
U.S. born 19% 29% 34% 18%
Foreign born 26% 22% 33% 19%
All Asians 27% 19% 30% 24%
All Americans 39% 29% 20% 13%

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U.S. Japanese population living in poverty, 2019

Group All Americans All Asians All Japanese
All 13% 10% 8%
U.S. born 13% 9% 7%
Foreign born 14% 11% 9%

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

Metro area Japanese population
Honolulu 190,000
Los Angeles 177,000
San Francisco 66,000
New York 56,000
Seattle 53,000
San Jose, CA 37,000
San Diego 35,000
Sacramento, CA 25,000
Chicago 24,000
Washington 22,000

Pew Research Center

Demographic characteristics of U.S. Japanese population, 2019

% (unless otherwise noted)

Among Japanese in the U.S.
All Asians
in the U.S.
All U.S. born Foreign born
MEDIAN AGE (in years) 34 41 36 48
AGE
Younger than 5 7 6 7 2
5-17 17 14 17 5
18-29 18 15 18 8
30-39 17 13 12 16
40-49 14 13 10 21
50-64 16 20 19 22
65+ 11 19 17 25
NATIVITY
U.S. born 43 73
Foreign born 57 27
YEARS IN U.S. (among foreign born)
0-5 years 21 28
6-10 years 13 8
11-15 years 11 7
16-20 years 12 9
21+ years 44 47
CITIZENSHIP (among foreign born)
U.S. citizen 59 33
Not a U.S. citizen 41 67
MARITAL STATUS (18 and older)
Married 59 53 47 66
Divorced/Separated/Widowed 11 17 15 19
Never married 30 31 38 15
FERTILITY (among women ages 15 to 44)
Women who have given birth in the past 12 months 6 6 5 8
HOUSEHOLD TYPE, BY PERSONS
Married-couple household 71 65 64 69
Other family household 13 13 15 8
Non-family household 15 22 21 24
IN A MULTIGENERATIONAL HOUSEHOLD
Multigenerational household 27 19 22 12

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. Figures for Japanese 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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Economic characteristics of U.S. Japanese population, 2019

% (unless otherwise noted)

Among Japanese in the U.S.
All Asians
in the U.S.
All U.S. born Foreign born
MEDIAN ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME $85,800 $82,980 $88,840 $70,000
MEDIAN ANNUAL PERSONAL EARNINGS (ages 16 and older with positive earnings)
All $40,000 $45,000 $45,000 $48,000
Full-time, year-round workers $60,000 $60,000 $60,000 $62,000
EMPLOYMENT STATUS (civilians ages 16 and older)
Employed 64 60 63 54
Not employed 3 2 2 2
Not in labor force 34 38 35 45
UNEMPLOYMENT RATE (civilians ages 16 and older in the labor force) 4 3 4 3
LIVING IN POVERTY
All ages 10 8 7 9
Younger than 18 10 7 7 10
18-64 10 8 8 9
65 and older 12 7 6 10
HOMEOWNERSHIP (households)
Owner-occupied 59 64 70 50
Renter-occupied 41 36 30 50

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. Figures for Japanese 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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