Filipinos in Hawaii

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Total population
American English, Ilokano, Philippine languages
Roman Catholicism, Protestantism, Others
Related ethnic groups
Filipino American

People of Filipino descent make up a large and growing part of the State of Hawaii's population. In 2000 they were the third largest ethnic group and represented 22.8% of the population,[1] but more recent data indicates they have become the largest ethnicity in Hawaii (25.1% in 2010).

Filipinos and Hawaiian languages are distantly related to each other, being in the Malayo-Polynesian group of Austronesian languages and peoples.


Filipino immigrants, c. 1906

Early 20th Century[edit]

The importation of Filipino workers for the sugar plantations began between 1906 and 1910. By the 1920s Filipinos in Hawaii were still largely male, men outnumbered women by nearly seven to one, and unmarried. They represented, at one point, half of the workers in the sugar industry. Initially the Filipinos tended to be "peasants" of lower education than other groups.[2]

Filipino-American World War II veterans during Araw ng Kagitingan memorial ceremony, 2009

After 1965[edit]

The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 allowed more Filipinos to bring family to Hawaii and this allowed more Filipino arrivals, particularly Filipino women, to enter the state. The increase in arrivals also caused some backlash and in the 1970s Filipinos felt discriminated against. They also tended to do more poorly at schools than average in that decade.[3] In 1970, of the 93,915 Filipinos living in Hawaii, only 34.4% were high school graduates.[4]

Ethnic plurality[edit]

The 2010 census showed that Filipinos surpassed Japanese as Hawaii’s largest ethnic group. The total population of Filipinos was 342,095 of which 197,497 were full Filipinos, the total population of Japanese was 312,292 of which 185,502 were full Japanese.[5][6] According to surveys conducted by the American Community Survey showed that Filipinos overtook Japanese between 2007 and 2008.[7]