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* Filipino

The first large group of Filipinos, primarily students, came to the U.S. after the American annexation of the Philippines in 1898. They were followed in the 1920's and 1930's by farm workers, most of whom gained employment in either Hawaii or California. Unfortunately, although the Philippines were under U.S. control, Filipinos remained aliens ineligible for American citizenship until the islands gained their independence in 1946.

The majority of Filipino immigration, however, has occurred since the 1965 Immigration Act, with the Philippines accounting for the second largest source of immigrants (after Mexico) in recent years. Most of these immigrants, like their predecessors, come to the U.S. in search of greater economic opportunity. Although almost half of the Filipino American population lives in California and another sixth lives in Hawaii, most of the remaining population is divided between the Midwest, Northeast, and South.

Web Sites

In Helpful Web Sites, you can find links to useful resources about the Philippines.


  • Filipino Immigration, by Bruno Lasker
  • Contemporary American Immigrants: Patterns of Filipino, Korean, and Chinese settlement in the United States, by Luciano Mangiafico

For some tips on researching abroad, see the topic All about international resources.

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