It may be the smallest racial group recorded in the U.S. Census, but it is also the most likely to be multiracial. We’re talking about the Native Hawaiians and other Pacific islanders.
More than half (56 percent) of people who identified themselves as being Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (NHPI) reported being of that race in combination with one or more other races. This multiracial segment grew 44 percent from 2000 to 2010, when it totaled 685,000 people.
Overall, 1.2 million people, or 0.4 percent of all people in the U.S., identified as NHPI. This population grew by 40 percent from 2000 to 2010. The segment grew at a faster rate than the total U.S. population, which increased by 9.7 percent from 2000 to 2010.
More than half (52 percent) of NHPIs lived in just two states, Hawaii (356,000) and California (286,000). The states with the next largest NHPI populations in 2010 were Washington (70,000), Texas (48,000), Florida (40,000), Utah (37,000), New York (36,000), Nevada (33,000), Oregon (26,000) and Arizona (25,000). Together, these 10 states represented more than three-fourths (78 percent) of the NHPI population
In the 2010 Census, Native Hawaiian was the largest detailed NHPI group, numbering more than one-half million (527,077), of which 370,931 reported being Native Hawaiian in combination with another race or NHPI group. Samoan was the second largest detailed NHPI group (184,440), followed by Guamanian or Chamoro (147,798).
While the NHPI population was concentrated in the West, yet some detailed NHPI groups were more geographically dispersed than others. Fijians were the most geographically concentrated in one state, with three-quarters of the Fijian population living in California alone. More than half of all Native Hawaiians lived in Hawaii and almost two-thirds of Tongans lived in California and Utah. Conversely, the Guamanian or Chamorro population was the most geographically dispersed with more than half living in states other than the top three states (California, Washington and Texas) with the largest Guamanian or Chamorro populations.