Asians & Pacific Islanders
Enumerated in the 1990 Census


Compiled by Joe Doyle and Dr. Madhulika Khandelwal




Between 1980 and 1990 the population of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States more than doubled, from 3,500,000 to 7,244,000. The following tables, based on the 1990 Census, represent a statistical sketch of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the U.S.: their ethnic composition, distribution throughout the five boroughs of New York City, and population size relative to other races in our multi-ethnic society. This information is intended to broaden public understanding of the growing Asian community in the United States - and to provide civic leaders with some simple data to use in formulating public policy.





Table 1:
1990 Population by Ethnicity
New York City U.S.

Bangladeshi

4,955 11,838

Burmese

507 6,177

Cambodian

2,565 147,411

Chinese

238,919 1,645,472

Fijian

4 7,036

Filipino

43,229 1,406,770

Guamanian

1,368 49,345

Hawaiian

773 211,014

Hmong

6 90,082

Indian

94,590 815,562

Indonesian

1,443 29,252

Japanese

16,828 847,562

Korean

69,718 798,849

Laotian

366 149,014

Pakistani

13,501 93,663

Samoan

299 62,964

Sri Lankan

811 10,970

Tahitian

5 944

Thai

3,944 91,275

Tongan

12 17,606

Vietnamese

8,400 614,547

Other Asian or Pacific Islander

31,702 176,469
NOTE:The actual numbers of Asians and Pacific Islanders may be larger than the Census figures given here. The Census tends to undercount undocumented and hard-to-document urban populations.



Table 2:New York City Population
   
1990 % of population 1980 % of population

Total

7,322,564 100.0% 7,071,639 100.0%

White

3,827,088 52.2% 4,294,075 60.7%

African American

2,102,512 28.8% 1,784,337 25.2%

Asian/Pacific Islander

512,719 7.0% 231,501 3.3%

Native American*

27,531 0.4% 11,824 0.2%

Other Races

52,714 11.6% 749,902 10.6%

Hispanic (of any race)

1,783,511 24.4% 1,406,024 19.9%
Note: * Includes Eskimos and Aleutians



Table 3: United States Population by Race
(rounded off to the nearest thousand)
   
1990 % of population 1980 % of population

Total

248,710,000 100.0% 226,546,000 100.0%

White

199,686,000 80.3% 188,372,000 83.2%

African American

29,986,000 12.1% 26,495,000 11.7%

Asian/Pacific Islander

7,274,000 2.9% 3,500,000 1.5%

Native American*

1,959,000 0.8% 1,420,000 0.6%

Other Races

9,805,000 3.9% 6,758,000 3.0%

Hispanic (of any race)

22,354,000 9% 14,609,000 6.4%
Note: * Includes Eskimos and Aleutians


Table 4: Comparative Populations of Six Asian Communities, 1990 and 1980*
New York City Queens Manhattan
1990 1980 1990 1980 1990 1980

Chinese

238,919 124,764 86,885 39,135 71,723 51,846

Indian

94,590 40,945 56,601 21,736 7,395 6,037

Korean

69,718 23,257 49,088 14,486 6,183 2,791

Filipino

43,229 23,810 22,324 11,196 8,116 5,373

Japanese

16,828 13,730 4,037 5,487 10,820 5,737

Vietnamese

8,400 3,283 2,419 1,418 787 570
Brooklyn Bronx Staten Island
1990 1980 1990 1980 1990 1980

Chinese

68,191 26,880 7,015 5,081 5,015 1,822

Indian

15,641 7,258 11,051 4,327 3,902 1,587

Korean

6,608 2,827 4,908 2,017 2,931 1,136

Filipino

5,776 3,939 3,497 1,384 3,516 1,918

Japanese

1,192 720 553 1,615 226 171

Vietnamese

2,708 859 2,389 404 97 32
Chicago Los Angeles San Francisco
1990 1980 1990 1980 1990 1980

Chinese

22,295 13,638 67,196 44,353 127,140 82,480

Indian

16,386 11,209 17,227 7,520 3,063 2,317

Korean

13,863 10,165 72,970 33,066 6,240 3,763

Filipino

27,443 22,305 87,625 43,713 42,652 38,265

Japanese

6,696 8,307 45,370 49,335 12,047 12,046

Vietnamese

4,640 2,723 18,674 13,257 9,712 5,583
Note: * The 1980 Federal Census did not enumerate any Asian groups other than these six.
Sources: 1990 Federal Census; 1980 Census: Characteristics of the Population, August 1982, U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C.


Joe Doyle is publications coordinator and Dr. Madhulika Khandelwal is research historian on the staff of the Asian/American Center of Queens College.