The latest US census shows that in the past year more than 230,000 people across the US identified themselves as Taiwanese or of Taiwanese descent, an increase from 145,000 people in the 2000 census.
Earlier population censuses in the US had classified Taiwanese as “Chinese,” but following protests by the US-based Formosan Association for Public Affairs, the Formosa Foundation, the Taiwanese American Citizens League and other organizations and groups formed by US-based Taiwanese, the category “Taiwanese” has been made separate from that of “Chinese.”
The Taiwanese American Citizens League even launched a video campaign on YouTube urging Taiwanese to identify as “Taiwanese” in last year’s census.
“Asian ethnicities such as Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Filipino and Vietnamese are able to click on a button to declare their ethnicity in the census. For someone of Taiwanese descent to declare their ethnicity, they need to click on a bubble reading ‘other Asian’ and then write in ‘Taiwanese.’ Many Taiwanese Americans and Taiwanese are unaware of this when filling out Census questionnaires,” a statement on the Taiwanese Census 2010 Campaign’s Web site said.
“By educating and encouraging families, professionals and college students alike to properly fill out the census, we can achieve a larger and more accurate count,” the statement said.
“Thus, the voice of Taiwanese America will be more strongly considered by the political, financial and social consciousness of the United States of America,” the statement added.
According to last year’s census, close to 110,000 Taiwanese lived in California, making this the highest concentration of Taiwanese in any US state by far. New York came in second, with 18,860 Taiwanese, followed by Texas, with 16,555.
New Jersey counts more than 10,000 Taiwanese and even in the sparsely populated state of South Dakota, 40 people identified themselves as Taiwanese.
Taiwanese live in 50 states in the US — even Puerto Rico, a protectorate of the US, is not exempt, the latest US census shows.
Additional reporting by staff writer
Translated by Jake Chung, Staff Writer