Filipinos in the San Francisco Bay Area

California is home to the largest Filipino population in the United States with 47 percent of the total Filipino population or 1.1 million as of the 2000 US Census.  This represents close to 3 percent of California’s total population and includes Filipino only and mixed race Filipinos.  

Of these, roughly 400,000 or slightly less than half of the Filipino population reside in the San Francisco – Oakland – San Jose area.  An additional 40,000 live in the Sacramento – Yolo area, which is easily accessible to the San Francisco Bay Area.

The majority of Filipino-Americans in the US (over 56%) have lived here close to 20 years or more.  Thus, many of our community members have strong ties to the US, while still maintaining the roots of ethnicity with our motherland.

Early immigrants to the US prior to World War II tended to occupy labor-based jobs in farming and fishing industries.  IN the sixties and later, our community’s immigrants tended to be more highly skilled and educated, filling occupations in the medical, healthcare and care giving industries.  Today, Filipinos have been recognized for their contributions to the business, government, arts and entertainment communities.

Filipinos comprise the second largest Asian Pacific American (APA) group in the US, second to the combined Chinese-American population (i.e., from Hong Kong and mainland China).  In recent years, the growing presence of our community as a distinct APA community is evident in the growing interest of mainstream American corporations in catering to the business and consumer interests of Filipinos.  This growing interest is also testament to the increasing economic and consumer clout of our community.