Based on the 2008 American Community Survey 1 year estimation, Filipino Americans (alone or in combination with one or more races) account for merely 1%–1.5% of the total US population (US Census Bureau, 2008a). However, they are the second largest Asian American group after Chinese Americans. The subgroup of Filipino American older adults (defined as age 65 and over in this chapter) accounts for 9.9% of the total Filipino American population. An estimated 35.4% of Filipino American older adults are disabled. Filipino Americans are fairly widely dispersed in the United States. California holds the largest Filipino American settlement, followed by Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Washington State, Texas, Florida, Virginia, and Nevada respectively (US Census, 2000).
Between 1986 and 2006 the number of Filipino immigrants tripled, making them the second largest immigrant group in the US after Mexican immigrants. Almost half the Filipino immigrants reside in California. An estimated one third of Filipino immigrants in 2006 have limited English proficiency (Terrazas, 2008).
The median household income of Filipino Americans is $74,983 (US Census Bureau, 2008a) and this is 25% more than the national average. The poverty rate of Filipino Americans is less than half that of the national total population.
The poverty rate among Filipino Americans aged 65 years and older is lower (7.7%) than that of the total US geriatric population (9.5%). It is also lower than the poverty rate of other elder Asian Americans with the exception of Japanese Americans (7.3%) (US Census Bureau, 2008b).
Among Asian Americans, Filipino American households have one of the highest proportions of owner-occupied homes (63.6%), only slightly lower than that of all US households (66.6%). A typical Filipino American household consists of 3 or more persons on average and has one of the lowest percentages of non-family households (23.3%) among Asian American populations.
A non-family household may contain only one person— the householder (person in whose name the housing unit is owned or rented)—or additional persons who are not relatives of the householder. Non-family households may be classified as either female nonfamily or male non-family households (Bryson, 1998). Many of these households are inter-generational in which grandparents often serve as surrogate parents for young children. In fact, Filipino American immigrants have the highest percentage (27%) among Asian Americans of grandparents living with and caring for their grandchildren who are under 18 years of age (US Census Bureau, 2008c).