Geum Yi

Number of first-generation Koreans in US passes one million

December 4, 2014
Spectators watch the Korean Parade Saturday in Los Angeles' Koreatown. (The Korea Times)

Spectators watch the Korean Parade Saturday in Los Angeles’ Koreatown. (The Korea Times)

The number of first-generation Koreans — those who immigrated to the U.S. after being born in South Korea — has passed one million but is on the decline in percentage to second-generation Korean Americans, according to an American Community Survey released by the U.S. Census Bureau Thursday.

Between 2009 and 2013, the total number of Koreans in the U.S. was 1.43 million. Of them, 1.07 million were first-generation.

First-generation Koreans make up 74.9 percent of the U.S. Korean population, compared to 62.6 percent for the Chinese and 42.3 percent for the Japanese. The first-generation percentage of the total Asian population stands at 65.1 percent.

The percentage was higher in 2005, when first-generationers numbered 982,818, making up 78.9 percent of Koreans in the country, ACS said in its report.

South Koreans were the 8th-highest foreign-born population in the U.S. behind Mexico, India, the Philippines, China, Vietnam, El Salvador and Cuba.