Where are the Filipinos in the USA?

Filipino hotspots
Filipino hotspots

The USA is home to millions of Filipinos. Many arrive as immigrants, many are born here (pinoy), others arrive through K1 Fiance Visa. Those born here are American citizens and those who are not, eventually get their permanent Green Card or become US Citizens. Nearly 2 million immigrated to the US (in 2014) from the Philippines but the Arab countries attract many also, 1 million live in Saudi Arabia and 477,000 in the UAE. Many are working here and sending money back home, which is a valuable asset to the Philippine government. But that government is well aware of the migration to the USA and since around 2012, make it harder for Filipinos to immigrate, after all, the most skilled and educated seek much higher living standards in the US and elsewhere. Filipinos who come to the US on a tourist visa must prove that they will return to the Philippines by showing they have a round trip airfare ticket BEFORE they are allowed on the plane. They also want to see bank account information depending on their length of stay in the USA, who they are staying with, and their purpose.

Simply put, while living in the Philippines is far cheaper, so is the quality of life in general because in many places, it remains a Third World nation outside of cities. While living in cities there compares well to many in the USA, it still is not the same. Wages are low. Yet, there are well over 40,000 foreigners who live in the Philippines because they seek a simpler life but it’s mostly because things are cheaper and the climate.

Most Filipinos live in California. Nearly, 45% of all immigrants live there, while Hawaii has only 6%. Besides California, smaller numbers live in New York, Illinois, Texas, and Florida. Within California, most Filipinos live in the San Francisco bay and LA areas. In the SF Bay area, there are 160,000, while in LA, about 290,000. In New York area, 154,000. Filipinos also live in San Jose south bay area, their totals are at 60,000. San Diego has 90,000, Sacramento has 36,000, and Chicago has 83,000. Daly City, near SF, has a Filipino population of 35%. Over 100,000 live in the East Bay near SF. In 2013, 22,000 sought permanent legal status in the USA. In New York City’s Queens area, the population is around 45,000 out of a total of 85,000 Filipinos who live there. Their median annual income is $81,000. Nevada is also home to nearly 140,000 Filipinos living in Las Vegas. The total Filipino population in the LA-Long Beach area is 463,000. In the SF-Oakland-Fremont area, the total is 234,000, while the San Diego area has 182,000.

What is amazing and worrisome to the Philippine government is that most immigrants are college educated, nearly 50% of all immigrants has a college degree. The Philippine government wants their citizens to work abroad and send money home, they make it difficult for them to come to the USA and stay permanently. Nearly 50% of the immigrants are allowed to stay through a family member who is a citizen. But, overseas workers who send $24 billion USD home per year accounts for 9% of the country’s gross domestic product! No wonder the government tries to make it hard.

The most common profession coming from the Philippines with Immigrants is in the medical field. In 2013, 25% of those immigrating were registered nurses (RN) or related. In Los Angeles county, nearly a third of all nurses there are Filipino, either OFW or resident.

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