The Bayanihan Foundation encourages all Filipinos in the US to fill out their 2020 US Census form, regardless of their US Citizenship status. Conducted every 10 years, the census is used to decide the number of seats awarded to states in the House of Representatives, how representative boundaries are drawn, and how more than $675 billion a year in federal funds is distributed. It’s also used in determining which states and counties are required to provide voter language assistance according to the Voting Rights Act. Asian Americans are least likely to fill out the census form — and most concerned their answers will be used against them — according to a survey released in January 2019 by the Census Bureau.
Some people in the community, especially those who are undocumented, are concerned about the confidentiality of the census results after the Trump Administration tried to add a citizenship question to the census form. The U.S. Supreme Court blocked the move, but that hasn’t assuaged the fears (Medill Reports, March 2020). Concerns remain regarding the citizenship question, despite a Supreme Court decision in June that ruled otherwise.
Top Five Highlights of Filipinos Living in the US, 2018 US Census Community Survey
US Census reveals so much information about Filipino Americans in the US. Be counted, In 2018, here’s five top highlights of Filipinos living in the US (Migration Policy Institute, July 2020):
- Filipino immigrants represent the fourth-largest, foreign born group in the US following from Mexico, India, and China. In 2018, just over 2 million Filipinos lived in the United States, accounting for 4.5 percent of the country’s 44.7 million immigrants.
- Filipinos in the US continue to be concentrated in California. In the 2014-18 period, immigrants from the Philippines were highly concentrated in California (43 percent), followed distantly by Hawaii (6 percent). The next four most populous states—Texas, Illinois, New York, and Nevada—were home to 18 percent of the Filipino population collectively. The top four counties by Filipino concentration were Los Angeles and San Diego counties in California, Honolulu County in Hawaii, and Clark County in Nevada. Together these counties accounted for 25 percent of Filipinos in the United States.
- Filipinos in the US are slightly older than other immigrant groups, many arriving before 2000. In 2018, Filipinos were older than the overall foreign- and U.S.-born populations. The Filipino median age was 51 years, compared to 45 years for all immigrants and 36 years for the native born. This is largely due to the disproportionately high number of Filipino seniors: 24 percent of Filipinos were 65 or older, versus 16 percent of both the overall foreign- and native-born populations.
- Significant portion of the Filipino population in the US continue to be undocumented. Although the vast majority of Filipino immigrants in the United States are legally present, approximately 313,000 were unauthorized in the 2012-16 period, according to Migration Policy Institute (MPI) estimates, comprising approximately 3 percent of the 11.3 million unauthorized population. MPI also estimated that significant portion of the population did not participate in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program when it was introduced in 2012.
- ‘Padala’ remains king. In 2019, Filipinos living abroad sent more than $35 billion in remittances to the Philippines via formal channels, according to the World Bank’s estimate. Remittances more than doubled in the past decade and represented about 10 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2019.