East Asia consists of some powerful economic giants like china, Japan, Taiwan, Vietnam, Korea and Mongolia. In these states, the three major ethnic cities include Han, Korean and Yamato. The other smaller ethnicities include Kazakh, Mongol, Tibetan, Machu and Uyghur (White, 1988). Others like Yakuts, Buryats and Evenks are smaller ethnicities that live in the northern part of East Asia and due to political divides; they are not included in the list of East Asian ethnicities (Farvor, 2002).

Asian ethnicities in United States: Asian Americans

My research will concentrate on East Asian ethnicities living in the United States of America. This ethnicity is commonly known as Asian Americans. According to the Census Bureau of the United States (U.S), an Asian is a person whose originality is from the original Southeast Asia, Far East Asia and India nationality (Census, 2010).

Asian Americans are known to be the highest income earners, the most educated with about 25.6% of people in their 25 years having a bachelor’s degree, which is high above the average U.S education statistics of 15% having Bachelors’ degree at 25years. It is also known to be the fastest growing ethnicity in the U.S with original Asian around 4.6% of the total population and if counting non-original who are a breed with other ethnicities, the statistics go up to 5.6% of the total population (Melendy, 1997).

According to Pew Research center, the Asian Americans are said to be the most content with their lives they lives, satisfied with their jobs, with their finances, with the direction that the country is taking and with their education. This has had a great impact in their lives hence they are the more hard working individuals in the U.S. It goes on to say that they place a greater value to their culture and religion and thus they value their family, their marriages, parenting, work, and also success in their career (Pew, 2013).

It is reported that a century ago, they were with the lowest skilled manpower, with the low incomes and waged labor. It adds that they were the target of discrimination even officially as they also lived in some sort of crowded ethnic groups. Today, they are one of the most likely races which can live in mixed race neighborhoods and intermarry with other races in the U.S (Chan, 1995).

Asians have passed even Hispanics in being the largest immigrants to the United States. About 74% adults of the Asian American say they were born in the Diaspora and half of them don’t speak English fluently. It is also said that more than 61% of the immigrants who are between 25 and 60 years have a bachelors’ degree. This is twice the shared total of all other non Asian immigrants to the U.S. Every country of origin has its unique history, religious beliefs, culture, language, economic traits, political values, social values, demographic traits as well as their history of entry to the U.S (Census, 2010)

Most of the Asian immigrants to the United States say that this offers them a better life and economic opportunities, religious as well as political freedom. Though, Asian countries are growing in their economy, about 12% of them say they regret leaving their home country (Patterson, 1992).

The major Asian American ethnic group includes Filipino Americans, Vietnamese Americans, Chinese Americans, Japanese Americans and Korean Americans, these six constituting about 83% of the total Asian Americans in the U.S. Indian Americans are reported to lead all other Asian ethnic groups in their income levels and education (Hsia, 1989).

It goes on to say that 70% of the Indian American adults of age 25 years and above have a bachelors’ degree. Vietnamese Americans have about a quarter of that figure while other Americans of Japanese, Korean, Filipino and Chinese have half of this figure in their earnings and educational level. It is reported that Chinese, Koreans and Vietnamese Americans have the highest percentage in poverty levels than even the general public statistics (Census, 2010).

Geographical settlement

The Asian American groups have differing geographic settlements. More than 70% of Japanese Americans and 66% of Filipino Americans live mostly in the West. About 50% of Vietnamese, Chinese and Korean Americans also live here in the West with only a quarter of the Indian American living here (Pew, 2013).

There geographic patterns of settlement might be as a result of their religious beliefs, culture and social status in terms of their economic well being. It may also be as a result of social-political attitudes. Most Filipinos are affiliated to Catholic faith, most of the Koreans Americans are also protestant and also most of Vietnamese are said to be devoted Buddhists. It is shown that about 50% of the Chinese Americans are unaffiliated in any to any religion. Also approximately half of Indian Americans are affiliated to Hinduism. There is no single religion that is dominant among the Japanese Americans. About 38% of them are Christians, 25% are also Buddhists and 32% are unaffiliated to any of the religions (Melendy, 1977).

There cultural and social believes are also different. Filipinos and Japanese Americans are more accepting when it comes to intergroup or interracial marriages. Indians, Koreans and Vietnamese are much more uncomfortable with that.  Korean Americans feel more discriminated by other ethnic groups as well as other races. On the other hand, Filipinos are more likely to interact with others and they feel less discriminated (Pew, 2013).

Most of the Japanese Americans are born here in America, around 73% unlike other groups which are majorly born in foreign countries. Most of Korean and Indian Americans, about 50% of them come to the U.S as a result of empower sponsorship. Japanese is who come on work terms are 33%, Chinese are 20%, Filipinos 13%, and Vietnamese only 1%. On the contrary, most Vietnamese come as political refugees (Zhou, 1989).

Why is the distribution of the Chinese Americans the way it is in California?

In total there are approximately 4,011,144 Chinese Americans in the whole of the United States forming the largest percentage of the Asians in the U.S with about 26% of the total Asian Americans. Most of the Chinese Americans migrated alongside their descendants mainly from Hong Kong, Taiwan, mainland china, Macau, and other from Southeast Asia (Census, 2010)

In fact, this group forms the largest oversea community who live in North America. Chinese Americans constitute a total of 1.2% of the U.S population. Half of all these Chinese Americans live in the states of California and New York combined. Why have the majority of these Chinese chosen to live in these two states? That is the reason we are investigation by looking at how they are distributed in the California state. Another fact is that the majority of the Chinese Americans in California live in San Francisco commonly known as Bay Area (Pew, 2013).

Chinese Americans have held dearly most of their values as well as there ideas. This has led them to influence their descendants, and even to some extent some of the neighboring communities. Such values are family values, parenting and guidance, respect for the elderly and the attachment to their family, to the extent of living in households even with their grown up children. Thus, they have influenced most rather than being influenced, and that is why Chinese has become the third most spoken language in the U.S (Fairbank, 1973).

Migration of Chinese to settle in California dates back to 1948 when they came to search for gold in the famous “gold rush”. It is reported that about 25,000 Chinese had already settled ion California by 1851 due to that gold rush. They even nicknamed the state as “gum saan” meaning “Gold Mountain”. This is one of the reasons why most of them are found in this state. It was their very first destination in the U.S. It can also explain why they have chosen to also settle in the New York state. It is because of its opportunities available. From this we can say that the Chinese are opportunistic than any other ethnicity of Asian origin because of how strategically they have placed themselves in the U.S. Most of these people of china are said to have left their country from Canton province to look for better social and economic opportunities and for political reasons to have their freedom (Furman,1998).

In addition, there was encouragement by the government of the U.S for more Chinese to come to California during the construction of the railroad around 1868. Since Chinese have had a large population, they could provide cheap labor than any other nationalities. This also increased the influx of Chinese to California hence it also helps to explain their settlement pattern (Sue, 1998).



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Chan, K. S., & Hune, S. (1995). Racialization and panethnicity: From Asians in America to Asian Americans.

Fairbank, J. K., Reischauer, E. O., & Craig, A. M. (1973). East Asia: tradition and transformation. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

Farver, J. A. M., Narang, S. K., & Bhadha, B. R. (2002). East meets West: Ethnic identity, acculturation, and conflict in Asian Indian families. Journal of Family Psychology, 16(3), 338.

Furman, J., Stiglitz, J. E., Bosworth, B. P., & Radelet, S. (1998). Economic crises: evidence and insights from East Asia. Brookings papers on economic activity, 1998(2), 1-135.

Hsia, J., & Hirano-Nakanishi, M. (1989). The demographics of diversity: Asian Americans and higher education. Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, 21(6), 20-27.

Melendy, H. B. (1977). Asians in America: Filipinos, Koreans, and East Indians. Boston: Twayne Publishers.

Patterson, W., & Kim, H. C. (1992). Koreans in America. In America Series. Lerner Publications Company, 241 First Avenue, North, Minneapolis, MN 55401 (paperback, ISBN-0-8225-1045-6: $5.95; library copy, ISBN-0-8225-0248-8)

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Zhou, M., & Logan, J. R. (1989). Returns on human capital in ethnic enclaves: New York City’s Chinatown. American sociological review, 809-820.


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