Profile America — Sunday, May 1st. By presidential proclamation, this month recognizes one of the nation's fastest-growing population groups — those of Asian/Pacific American heritage. The observance began in 1978, with a joint congressional resolution honoring the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants in the 1840s and the completion of the transcontinental railroad in 1870, with the help of Chinese immigrants. Now, 16 million people in the U.S. are of Asian heritage, about 5 percent of the total population. California has the largest number of this group at more than 5 million. Hawaii is the state where Asians make up the highest proportion of the total population, at 53 percent. You can find these and more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau, online at www.census.gov.
Sources: Chase's Calendar of Events 2011, p. 247
U.S. Census Bureau, Facts for Features, CB11-FF.06
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