Chinese population in the Washington, DC and Baltimore, MD metropolitan areas: There are approximately 70,100 Chinese immigrants* living in the Washington, DC and Baltimore, MD metro areas. The largest numbers of Chinese immigrants are found in Montgomery County, MD (21,539), Fairfax County, VA (14,640) and Howard County, MD (5,952).
Among Chinese immigrants, 44 percent are male and 56 percent are female. Foreign-born individuals from China are less likely to be to be proficient in English than all other foreign-born individuals. Specifically, 50 percent of Chinese immigrants are proficient in English, compared to 63 percent of all other immigrants living in the Washington, DC and Baltimore, MD metro areas. Fifty-three percent of them are naturalized U.S. citizens, compared to 51 percent of all other foreign-born individuals.
Chinese population in the United States: The absolute number of foreign-born individuals from China in the United States has increased over time. Before the 1990s, immigrants from China constituted two percent of the total immigrant population. In 1960, there were approximately 102,583 Chinese immigrants in the country. In 1970, the number of Chinese immigrants increased to 194,300 and by 1980 it grew to 288,300. In 1990, immigrants from China constituted three percent of the total immigrant population (523,714).
Today, Chinese immigrants (2,228,730) constitute five percent of the total foreign-born population of the United States. The largest numbers of Chinese immigrants in the United States are found in the New York, NY (433,267), Los Angeles (229,565) and San Francisco (218,120) metropolitan areas.
Education, Income and Housing: In terms of educational attainment, Chinese immigrants in the DC and Baltimore metro areas are much more likely to hold a Master’s or Professional Degree or a Doctoral Degree compared to all other foreign-born and native-born individuals. Thirty percent of the Chinese immigrants have a Master’s or Professional Degree in comparison to 18 percent of all other foreign born and 20 percent of native born. Furthermore, 17 percent of foreign-born from China have a Doctoral Degree compared to 4 percent of all other foreign-born individuals and 2 percent of native born.
The median family income of Chinese immigrants in the DC and Baltimore metro areas ($88,189) is significantly higher than the median family income of all other foreign born ($75,000) and slightly higher than the median family income of the native born ($87,283). Foreign-born Chinese have a higher median personal earned income ($80,648) in comparison to all other foreign-born individuals ($50,279) and native-born U.S. citizens ($68,079).
Chinese immigrants are more likely to be homeowners (69 percent) compared to the rest of the foreign-born population (56 percent) and native-born U.S. citizens (66 percent) in the Washington, DC and Baltimore, MD metro areas.
Employment and Occupation: The unemployment rate for Chinese is relatively low (3 percent), which is slightly lower compared to all other foreign born (5 percent) and the native-born population (5 percent). The largest proportions of Chinese immigrants in the Washington, DC and Baltimore, MD metro areas are employed in computer, engineering, and science occupations (33 percent), management, business, science, and financial occupations (20 percent), and service occupations (13 percent). Chinese immigrants are much more likely to be employed in STEM occupations (34 percent) in comparison to all other foreign born (12 percent) and native-born U.S. citizens (11 percent).
Chinese immigrants in the DC and Baltimore metro areas are slightly less likely to be self-employed and not incorporated (5 percent), meaning they are less likely to work as independent contractors, compared to all other foreign born (6 percent). However, foreign born from China are slightly more likely to be self-employed in their own incorporated business (5 percent) compared to all other foreign born (4 percent) and U.S. native-born citizens (3 percent).
The median income for self-employed Chinese immigrants in the DC and Baltimore metro areas is $31,755, which is lower than the median income for self-employed foreign-born individuals ($41,282) and native-born individuals ($63,511).
* This analysis includes only foreign-born individuals from mainland China. Hong Kong, Macau, Mongolia, and Taiwan are not included in this fact sheet. Please note that the terms “immigrant” and “foreign born” are used interchangeably throughout this fact sheet. Foreign born refers to individuals who are not a U.S. citizen at birth or who were born outside the U.S., Puerto Rico or other U.S. territories and whose parents are not U.S. citizens. The foreign born may include naturalized U.S. citizens, Legal Permanent Residents, temporary residents, refugees and asylees, and others. Additionally, native born includes those who are U.S. citizens at birth, those born in the United States, Puerto Rico, or other U.S. territories, and those born abroad to a parent who is a U.S. citizen.