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

Year Population
2000 150,000
2010 238,000
2015 295,000
2019 343,000

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

Category English proficient
All 58%
U.S. born 93%
Foreign born 48%
Adults 56%
All Asians 72%

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

Year 0 to 10 years More than 10 years
2000 37% 63%
2010 39% 61%
2015 35% 65%
2019 35% 65%

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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 Thai population in the U.S., 2019

Category High school or less Some college Bachelor's degree Postgrad degree
All 34% 21% 28% 17%
U.S. born 17% 28% 36% 19%
Foreign born 37% 20% 27% 16%
All Asians 27% 19% 30% 24%
All Americans 39% 29% 20% 13%

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U.S. Thai population living in poverty, 2019

Group All Americans All Asians All Thai
All 13% 10% 14%
U.S. born 13% 9% 12%
Foreign born 14% 11% 14%

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

Metro area Thai population
Los Angeles 33,000
New York 11,000
Washington 10,000
Chicago 8,000
Dallas 7,000
Seattle 6,000
San Francisco 6,000
Las Vegas 6,000
Riverside, CA 4,000
Atlanta 4,000

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Demographic characteristics of U.S. Thai population, 2019

% (unless otherwise noted)

Among Thai in the U.S.
All Asians
in the U.S.
All U.S. born Foreign born
MEDIAN AGE (in years) 34 41 25 46
AGE
Younger than 5 7 3 11 <0.5
5-17 17 10 25 6
18-29 18 16 26 13
30-39 17 18 19 17
40-49 14 19 14 21
50-64 16 17 4 21
65+ 11 17 2 22
NATIVITY
U.S. born 43 24
Foreign born 57 76
YEARS IN U.S. (among foreign born)
0-5 years 21 19
6-10 years 13 16
11-15 years 11 12
16-20 years 12 9
21+ years 44 44
CITIZENSHIP (among foreign born)
U.S. citizen 59 57
Not a U.S. citizen 41 43
MARITAL STATUS (18 and older)
Married 59 57 36 62
Divorced/Separated/Widowed 11 16 7 18
Never married 30 27 57 21
FERTILITY (among women ages 15 to 44)
Women who have given birth in the past 12 months 6 4 3 4
HOUSEHOLD TYPE, BY PERSONS
Married-couple household 71 63 58 65
Other family household 13 18 21 17
Non-family household 15 19 21 18
IN A MULTIGENERATIONAL HOUSEHOLD
Multigenerational household 27 25 25 25

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. Due to data limitations, figures for Thai based on single-race population only, regardless of Hispanic origin. Figures for 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. Thai population, 2019

% (unless otherwise noted)

Among Thai in the U.S.
All Asians
in the U.S.
All U.S. born Foreign born
MEDIAN ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME $85,800 $63,000 $89,000 $59,000
MEDIAN ANNUAL PERSONAL EARNINGS (ages 16 and older with positive earnings)
All $40,000 $30,000 $40,000 $30,000
Full-time, year-round workers $60,000 $40,000 $60,000 $38,000
EMPLOYMENT STATUS (civilians ages 16 and older)
Employed 64 59 73 56
Not employed 3 2 3 2
Not in labor force 34 38 24 42
UNEMPLOYMENT RATE (civilians ages 16 and older in the labor force) 4 4 4 3
LIVING IN POVERTY
All ages 10 14 12 14
Younger than 18 10 23 16 36
18-64 10 13 9 14
65 and older 12 8 *** 8
HOMEOWNERSHIP (households)
Owner-occupied 59 58 58 59
Renter-occupied 41 42 42 41

The symbol *** indicates insufficient number of observations to provide a reliable estimate.
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. Due to data limitations, figures for Thai based on single-race population only, regardless of Hispanic origin. Figures for 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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