Module 5 SLP
Since 1999, United States has been home to more than 10.3 million new immigrants (Cooper, 2008, p. 70). In 2004, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated that the population of Asians living in the country grew to a staggering 13.5 million, up 12.5 percent (U.S. Census Bureau News, 2004). The U.S. Census added that the growth rate of the so-called
‘minority’ group is faster than that entire US population (2004). Chinese make up the largest Asian population, an (U.S. Census Bureau).
The immigration of Chinese in America started in the mid-18th century when they landed in Sacramento, California to join the “Gold Rush” (Wei, 1999). When the prospect of finding gold proved to be futile, they joined the labor force of the country, toiling in agriculture, mining and almost any industry where there was work (1999). Coming from a country with a rich history and culture, the Chinese Americans initially had to struggle to balance life in America. Over the years, they have succeeded and have become of the more successful Asian Americans today.
Comprising 1.2 percent of the total population of the country, Chinese Americans counted to approximately 3.6 million as of 2006 (U.S. Census Bureau, 2006). The same survey also shows that there are more female Chinese Americans than males, 52% compared to 48% (2006). Furthermore, the median age of Chinese Americans is 35.6 years (2006). With regards to their household type, an overwhelming 72.3% have families, with the average family size of 3.41 (2006). Majority of Chinese Americans live in New York, Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Houston, Chicago, Portland and Philadelphia (Answers Corporation, 2008). It is interesting to note that these cities have Chinatown areas where Chinese Americans promote their heritage.
Chinese Americans also place importance to education, seeing that almost 50% of Chinese Americans have attained bachelor’s and/ graduate degrees (U.S. Census Bureau, 2006). However, while there is a large percentage of Chinese Americans with higher educational profile, there are still Chinese Americans speak Chinese at home- around 50 % (U.S. Department of Health and Health Services, 2007).
According to a 2007 study by the U.S. Department of Health and Health Services, Chinese Americans, in particular the women, have a high life expectancy, an estimated 86.1 years (U.S. Department of Health and Health Services, 2007). Moreover, Asian Americans have the highest life expectancy rate in the US. While this bodes well for Chinese Americans, it is still important to know that there are still factors which may affect their health, specifically with regards to their medical consultations. Among the cited reasons in the study are fear of deportation, language/cultural barriers, and lack of insurance (2007). To promote the health status of Chinese Americans, there exists a Chinese American Medical Society (CAMS) whose aim is to help, foster and promote the health status of Chinese Americans. While traditional medicine is still prevalent in the US, it is important for Chinese Americans to maintain medical visits to licensed physicians. The existence of CAMS is therefore a good step in doing so. This way, Chinese Americans will not feel alienated or timid when discussing their medical history.
Chinese Americans, with their rich heritage, are perhaps one of the luckiest ethnic groups in the country today. They have perfectly blended well with the American lifestyle while at the same time, persevering their own culture. The existence of Chinatown in various parts of the country is perhaps the most tangent proof of this. Chinese restaurants have cropped up almost everywhere in the US and even Chinese celebrations are also observed, such as the Chinese New Year. Additionally, in most universities, there are courses that specifically tackling Chinese history.
When Chinese Americans started to come to the US, they were in search of gold. Though they did not find gold, they were able successfully bring their own culture and heritage to a country that is often described as “melting pot”. In doing so, Chinese Americans emerged as perhaps one of the brightest “gold” in the US.
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U.S. Census Bureau News. (2004). Hispanic and Asian Americans Increasing
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(2006). Selected Population Profile in the United States, from
U.S. Department of Health and Health Services, The Office of Minority Health.
(2007). Asian American/Pacific Islander Profile. Retrieved June 12,2008
Wei, William. (1999). The Chinese-American Experience: an Introduction.
Retrieved June 12, 2008, from http://www.immigrants.harpweek.com