Filipinos are biggest Asian group in California—new study


SAN FRANCISCO–Filipinos are the largest Asian minority group in California today.

They also rank second only to Indians for having the least poor and least low-income community members among all Asians in the state. But they also have the lowest admission rates in the University of California system.

These are some of the findings of a comprehensive new study of the Asian American community in California, “A Community of Contrasts: Asian Americans and Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders, 2013,”  by the Asian American Center for Advancing Justice, a coalition of several Asian American advocacy groups.

One of the study’s aims is to “debunk the model minority myth” by showing the complexities within the Asian population as well as the diverse economic and health realities experienced by each ethnic group.

Crunched from Census data and statistics from several federal and state agencies on the decade spanning 2000 to 2010, the findings present a detailed look into each of the 23 distinct Asian ethnicities concentrated in California.

Fast growth

Filipinos are the largest ethnic group in California at 1.5 million, followed by Chinese at 1.4 million. The Filipino population grew 34 percent during the decade, mirroring the rapid overall Asian American growth rate.

Indeed, while Latinos are projected to be the majority population in California by 2014, Asians have a faster growth rate of 34 percent compared with Latinos at 28 percent. Whites, meanwhile, declined by five percent.

Up to 55 percent of Filipinos were born in the Philippines, and they represent the highest number of immigrants among Asians who acquired permanent residence in ten years—255,987.

As a result, Tagalog is next only to Chinese as the most spoken among Asian languages. But reflective of diverse ages and educational and social backgrounds, 19 percent of Filipinos over five years old have limited English proficiency.

Filipinos are also intermarrying and having offspring with other ethnic and racial groups–16 percent are multiracial.

Lower Earning

Filipinos are relatively well educated. Up to 93 percent of Filipinos have a high school diploma or higher, and 46 percent have a bachelor’s degree or higher.

But along with Laotian, Cambodian and Pakistanis, young Filipinos have the lowest University of California (the state university system) admission rates.

While California’s per capita income is at $29,188 and the Asian per capita income is $29, 841 Filipino per capita income lags at $26,971. Indians have the highest Asian per capita earnings at $40,303. White per capita income is $42,052.

However, the Filipino community is next only to Indians in having the least poor and least low-income members among Asian groups in the state—6 percent of Filipinos are poor and 17 percent low-income.

More than half of Filipinos in the state–58 percent–are homeowners, while 42 percent are renters, compared with 63 percent Chinese homeowners and 64 percent white homeowners.

Heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes are the leading causes of death among Filipinos in California, and 11 percent of them have no health insurance.

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  • Diepor

    Filipinos don’t believe in education.

    • riza888

      Not true for ALL Filipinos. As mentioned in this article, “Fil-Ams rank second only to Indians for having the least poor and least low-income community members among all Asians in the state.” Which means that these Fil-Ams live in bad neighborhoods with low standard of living. These poor neighborhoods have poor schools and thus preparation at the primary, elementary, and high school levels is also poor for the Fil-Am kids. A 3.85 GPA just wouldn’t necessarily cut it to enter in one of these UC schools. And that’s practically all As.

    • payutenyodagimas

      not true. some maybe but generally they want ther children to be educated.  what i find worrysome is that parents/students dont want to incur student loans so they just send their children to the community college taking up nursing or short term courses.

      seems to me that Filipino parents are not fascinated by the likes of Gates, Jobs or Buffet so they just want their children to have jobs, sure jobs, in the hospitals. that maybe the reason Filipinos have the lowest enrollment at the UC system.

      one thing more. Filipinos want to have houses to show off.  instead of saving for college, they just work for the mortgage.

      i live in an apartment and i had an egyptian neighbor and his sons were a doctor and a financial executive.

      see the difference? the egyptian endured living in an apartment but in the end his offsprings became a doctor and an executive?

      while our compatriots have a big house and nice cars but their children ended up working as nurses.

      who do you think is more admirable?

  • Catdoggie


  • Kevin Miravite

    filipinos dont have the same mindset as the japs, that’s why no matter how hard they work and earn it seems like there’s no progress

  • joerizal

    They failed to count the undocumented Mexicans. That would boost their number to 50M in California. The UC system is overrated, overpriced and is nothing more than a party school.

    • riza888

      Not all of them. U.C. Berkeley tops the list of the best public universities in the US. UCLA, U.C. Davis, U.C. Santa Barbara and U.C. San Diego also rounded out the top ten.

      • joerizal

        I rest my case….overrated.

      • riza888

        How are they overrated? The UCs that are mentioned are the top-tier state college system of California. In terms of research expenditures, they occupy the top ten spots for all schools in the US. Each spend much more than any Ivy. 

      • joerizal

        Let me know of your experiences with the UC system, because I have plenty of that. If you’re just talking about your Google searches and stats, then don’t talk to me.

      • riza888

        Or you just don’t know at all…

        I may have a child who goes to UC Berkeley…..
        Actually, I don’t. He’s at CalTech. :-)

  • payutenyodagimas

    the census of 2010 also says that Filipinos have the 2nd highest household income in the country, next to the Indians.

    how do you reconcile this census report and this study?

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