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IN THE KNOW: Filipinos in US

/ 12:39 AM November 15, 2016

There are 3.5 million Filipinos in the United States, according to statistics called “stock estimate of overseas Filipinos” by the Commission on Filipinos Overseas as of 2013. The number includes permanent migrants, temporary migrants and irregular migrants.

The Philippines has been consistently among the top five countries of origin of immigrants in the United States since 1990, according to the Washington-based Migration Policy Institute.


Filipinos were the fourth-largest immigrants in 2013—next to the Mexicans, Chinese and Indians. Filipino immigrants account for 4.5 percent of the 41.3 million total immigrant population in the United States.

Permanent migrants number about 3.1 million, comprising the bulk of Filipinos in the United States at about 89 percent. They include Filipino immigrants and legal permanent residents, Filipino spouses of foreign nationals, Filipinos naturalized in America, Filipino dual citizens and their descendants.


Temporary migrants number about 130,000, while irregulars are almost twice their number at 271,000.

Temporary migrants include Filipinos whose stay overseas while regular and properly documented is temporary, and include land-based and sea-based workers, intracompany transferees, students, trainees, entrepreneurs, businessmen, traders and others whose stay abroad is six months or more, and their accompanying dependents.

Irregular migrants are Filipinos who are not properly documented or without valid residence or work permits, or who may be overstaying in the United States. Popularly called “TNT” (tago nang tago)—the Filipino slang for an illegal alien who is always hiding—they comprise about 7.6 percent of the total number of Filipinos in America. —COMPILED BY INQUIRER RESEARCH

Source:,, Inquirer Archives

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