In conjunction with the launch of the Health, Mental Health, and Social Service Needs of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in California, AAPI Data is excited to announce the launch of the 2022 State of AANHPIs in California Report. As with our other reports, the full-text of this new demographic report can be found at aapidata.com/reports.

Like the 2022 State of AANHPIs in the United States Report, this report provides a snapshot of key demographic characteristics of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander populations in California. The report draws on a variety of federal data sources to provide charts and analysis on key outcomes in the following areas:

  • Demographics
  • Immigration
  • Language Diversity and English Proficiency
  • Educational Attainment
  • Labor-Market Outcomes
  • Income and Poverty
  • Housing
  • Public Opinion and Voting

It concludes with recommendations for action to address inequities in the issue areas above.

General Highlights

The following highlights are excerpts from our report. Table and figure numbers are taken directly from the report.

Demographics

While Los Angeles Countys sheer size makes it home to the largest share of all major race and ethnic groups, the second most and third most populous counties were Santa Clara and Orange Counties for Asian Americans, and San Diego and Sacramento Counties for the NHPI population. Wider variation in geographic distribution can be seen when disaggregating by AA and NHPI origin groups.

Table 3: Top 5 counties of residence for each race/ethnicity

Race/Ethnicity Cnty. 1 Cnty. 2 Cnty. 3 Cnty. 4 Cnty. 5
White alone or in combination Los Angeles (21.9%) San Diego (10%) Orange (8.2%) Riverside (6.2%) San Bernardino (5.6%)
Black or African American alone or in combination Los Angeles (33.4%) San Bernardino (7.8%) San Diego (7.7%) Alameda (7.3%) Sacramento (7%)
American Indian and Alaska Native alone or in combination Los Angeles (21.9%) San Diego (7.2%) Riverside (6%) San Joaquin (5.9%) San Bernardino (5.9%)
Asian alone or in combination Los Angeles (24.8%) Santa Clara (11.6%) Orange (11.1%) Alameda (8.6%) San Diego (7.3%)
Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander alone or in combination Los Angeles (17.4%) San Diego (10.3%) Sacramento (8.5%) Alameda (7.7%) Orange (6.8%)
Hispanic or Latino Los Angeles (31.5%) Riverside (7.8%) San Bernardino (7.6%) San Diego (7.3%) Orange (7%)

Source: Analysis of 2020 American Community Survey 5-year Public Use Microdata File by AAPI Data

Table 4: Top 5 counties of residence for each detailed Asian national origin

Asian Origin Cnty. 1 Cnty. 2 Cnty. 3 Cnty. 4 Cnty. 5
Asian Indian Santa Clara (21.5%) Alameda (16.3%) Los Angeles (13.5%) Orange (7.2%) San Diego (5.6%)
Bangladeshi Los Angeles (45%) Orange (10.7%) Santa Clara (9.2%) Alameda (6.9%) San Diego (6.6%)
Bhutanese Contra Costa (55.7%) Santa Barbara (18.8%) Sacramento (17.3%) Alameda (6%) Los Angeles (2.4%)
Burmese Los Angeles (32.1%) Alameda (14.9%) San Mateo (11.9%) San Diego (7.8%) Santa Clara (5.6%)
Cambodian Los Angeles (33.2%) San Joaquin (10.9%) Orange (9.4%) San Diego (6.2%) Fresno (6.1%)
Chinese, except Taiwanese Los Angeles (28.7%) Santa Clara (12.6%) San Francisco (11.1%) Alameda (11%) Orange (7.2%)
Filipino Los Angeles (24.6%) San Diego (12.2%) Alameda (6.8%) Santa Clara (6.7%) Orange (6.6%)
Hmong Fresno (35.2%) Sacramento (29.1%) Merced (6.6%) San Joaquin (6.2%) Butte (4.8%)
Indonesian Los Angeles (29%) San Bernardino (14.9%) Orange (12.8%) Alameda (5.8%) Riverside (5.7%)
Japanese Los Angeles (30.6%) Orange (12%) Santa Clara (8.5%) San Diego (8.2%) Alameda (5%)
Korean Los Angeles (41.5%) Orange (19.5%) Santa Clara (6.6%) San Diego (5.6%) Alameda (4.4%)
Laotian Sacramento (16.9%) San Diego (13.3%) Fresno (9.9%) Los Angeles (7.7%) Contra Costa (7.2%)
Malaysian Los Angeles (21.5%) Santa Clara (14.2%) San Diego (8.1%) Alameda (7.9%) Orange (7.8%)
Mongolian Los Angeles (38.6%) Alameda (12.8%) Santa Clara (9.6%) San Francisco (8.9%) Sacramento (6.3%)
Nepalese Los Angeles (18.7%) Contra Costa (15.1%) Santa Clara (13.3%) Alameda (11.7%) Orange (9%)
Okinawan Los Angeles (24.1%) San Diego (23.3%) Humboldt (7.5%) Riverside (7.3%) San Francisco (6.5%)
Pakistani Los Angeles (18.4%) San Joaquin (13.4%) Orange (9.9%) Alameda (9.2%) Santa Clara (7.4%)
Sri Lankan Los Angeles (34.7%) Orange (16.1%) Santa Clara (7.4%) Alameda (7.4%) Contra Costa (6.1%)
Taiwanese Los Angeles (32.8%) Orange (15%) Santa Clara (14.3%) Alameda (8.7%) San Diego (5.8%)
Thai Los Angeles (40.4%) Orange (9.3%) San Diego (6.9%) San Bernardino (5.1%) Alameda (4.9%)
Vietnamese Orange (30%) Santa Clara (19.5%) Los Angeles (15.9%) San Diego (7.5%) Alameda (5.3%)
Other Asian, specified Sacramento (26.7%) Alameda (11.5%) Los Angeles (9%) Contra Costa (8.7%) Orange (7%)
Other Asian, not specified Los Angeles (22.6%) Orange (9.6%) Sacramento (8.5%) Alameda (7.4%) San Diego (7.3%)

Source: Analysis of 2020 American Community Survey 5-year Public Use Microdata File by AAPI Data

Table 5: Top 5 counties of residence for each detailed NHPI national origin

NHPI Origin Cnty. 1 Cnty. 2 Cnty. 3 Cnty. 4 Cnty. 5
Native Hawaiian Los Angeles (17.3%) San Diego (13%) Orange (8.2%) Alameda (6.6%) San Bernardino (5.5%)
Samoan Los Angeles (21%) San Diego (11.1%) Orange (8.4%) Alameda (8.2%) San Bernardino (5.8%)
Tongan San Mateo (21.1%) Los Angeles (14.5%) Alameda (13.1%) Santa Clara (7.3%) Riverside (6.7%)
Other Polynesian Los Angeles (23.7%) Orange (12.7%) San Joaquin (8.3%) San Diego (7%) San Bernardino (6.1%)
Chamorro San Diego (18.7%) Los Angeles (12.1%) Riverside (8.8%) Alameda (7.2%) Solano (7%)
Marshallese Sacramento (46.3%) Butte (11.9%) Riverside (9%) Orange (7.1%) Alameda (6.4%)
Other Micronesian Sacramento (12.6%) Los Angeles (11.9%) San Diego (11.3%) Stanislaus (9.9%) Riverside (6.3%)
Fijian Sacramento (29.4%) Alameda (12.5%) Los Angeles (7.5%) Stanislaus (7.2%) San Mateo (6.5%)
Other Melanesian Alameda (52.4%) Santa Clara (15.2%) Los Angeles (14.7%) Fresno (6.4%) San Diego (5.6%)
Other Pacific Islander, not specified Los Angeles (24.4%) San Diego (8.6%) Sacramento (7.5%) Orange (6.1%) Riverside (5.8%)

Source: Analysis of 2020 American Community Survey 5-year Public Use Microdata File by AAPI Data

Immigration

The number of people obtaining legal permanent residency from Asia dropped by 37 percent from 2016 to 2020, the second largest decline among the major regions of birth, only behind the 45 percent decline for individuals from North America.

Language Proficiency

Populations with significant immigrant presence continue to show high levels of limited English proficiency (LEP), defined as those age 5 and older who speak English less than “Very well.” One-third (33%) of the single-racial Asian, 30% of single and multi-racial Asians, and 29% of the Hispanic populations reported that they had LEP.

Disaggregated Language Proficiency

About half or more of Burmese, Vietnamese, and Mongolian Americans in California, and more than 2 in 5 of Thai, Bhutanese, Chinese, and Korean Americans were LEP. Among NHPI national origin groups, Tongan and Fijian Americans had the highest LEP rates.

Overcrowding

Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander households were twice as likely to be living in overcrowded housing as White households. Asian households to a lesser degree were more likely to be in overcrowded housing than White households.

Disaggregated Overcrowding

There is wide variation among AA and NHPI origin groups regarding overcrowding measures. At the high end, one in three Mongolian and Tongan American, and one in four Bangladeshi, Hmong, and Nepalese American households were in overcrowded housing. At the low end, Japanese and Taiwanese American households were around half as likely to be in overcrowded housing compared to White households. However, Native Hawaiian households, while the lowest among NHPI groups, were more likely to be in overcrowded housing compared to White households.

Public Opinion

Asian American voters overwhelmingly and consistently over the years have supported stricter gun laws and environmental protections.

To read the full text of the California demographics report, visit aapidata.com/reports. Social media shareables for the report are here.