Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952668 | Print ISBN: 9781412909488 | Online ISBN: 9781412952668| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
George K. Hong
Chinese Americans are the largest group of Asian Americans. In the 2000 U.S. Census, 2.43 million people identified themselves as Chinese, and another 0.44 million identified themselves as Chinese in combination with another race or races. These numbers account for approximately 24% of the 10.24 million people who identified themselves as Asian alone and approximately 27% of the additional 1.66 million who reported themselves as Asian in combination with another race or races. The Chinese were the first Asians to come to the United States in large numbers. During the 1800s, many of them came to work as laborers on the transcontinental railroad, in the gold mines of California, or on the plantations of Hawaii. However, when demand for labor decreased in the mainland United States, anti-Chinese sentiment developed and discriminatory state and federal legislation was enacted. Antimiscegenation laws were enacted in 14 states, prohibiting intermarriage between European Americans and ...