The Chinese community in Chicago began to evolve in the early 1900s. After the establishment of the Chinese Hospital in 1906, the affiliate of the national Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association (CCB) quickly became the largest organizing force in the community. They provided social services and acted as arbitrators of disputes. They also certified documents and cultivated cultural heritage. Family societies helped Chinese immigrants by providing mutual support, maintaining family codes, and protecting cultural property. After the 1910 visit of Chinese Nationalist League founder Sun Yat-sen, many Chinese organized politically, joining the powerful labor organization Mon Sang Association.
The first Chinese immigrants to Chicago arrived in the early 1870s from the West Coast. Chinese male laborers began migrating to California in the 1850s, intended for a temporary stay. They worked long hours in dangerous jobs to support their families back home. As the transcontinental railroad was constructed, thousands of Chinese workers were needed. Growing legal discrimination in China led to more Chinese migration eastward. After the railroads were finished, thousands of Chinese immigrant families began to settle in Chinatowns, which were separate cities within cities.
China’s immigration to Latin America began during the nineteenth century. The rapid expansion of capitalism in the region increased the demand for manpower. Since then, the Chinese community has flourished in Latin America, forming clusters of wealthy merchants and successful family businesses in various sectors. The Chinese model of integration in Latin America has been emulated by many other countries in the region. The original Chinese population of the Caribbean worked on plantations and settled in the Free Trade Zone of Iquique. After the initial influx of Chinese immigrants, they began building their own businesses and eventually a prosperous community.
In Salt Lake City, the Chinese community was most concentrated near the railroad hub in Promontory. Between 1870 and 1880, the Chinese occupied a large part of Box Elder County. Many were employed as section hands, so the Chinese community of Corinne was home to as many as 300 people. By the 1900s, however, the community had become less prosperous than it is today. In fact, the Chinese community in Ogden declined by the 1940s, as the Chinese community experienced severe racial discrimination.
While the Chinese population in London has always been a tiny minority, the development of the community was spurred by the expansion of international trade and the politics of empire. The Chinese community was a sliver in the medley of voices that filled the city. However, their voices were not lost in the shuffle of events. It was evident that the Chinese community had a presence in the city’s courtrooms. The development of Chinatown in London was crucial to the economy of the city.
After World War II, a new wave of Chinese immigrants started to settle in the United States. These new arrivals were prompted by changes in immigration laws. The McCarran-Walter Act of 1952 made it possible for Chinese immigrants from Asia and lifted the national origins quota. The fall of Saigon also triggered a large influx of Chinese people from other Asian countries, including Taiwan. The Chinese community expanded in Chicago by the 1970s. They were primarily professionals who were fluent in Mandarin. Some even stayed and became citizens.
Migrations by Chinese people have been a common theme throughout history. Some date back to the Ming dynasty, when the first Chinese immigrants migrated to the western world. The Ming envoy Zheng He sent Cantonese and Hokkien people to the Indian Ocean and South China Sea to trade and explore. Today, this same population is spread across the globe. In recent decades, the Chinese have consolidated their position as a major cultural force in Singapore.
Despite the rapid growth of the Chinese community, it remains a relatively small minority of immigrants. The Chinese population in the United States comprises about 4.96 percent of all foreign-born residents. This is smaller than the percentage of the total U.S. population, which is approximately 19 percent. If you are Chinese, it is likely that you have Chinese ancestry. If you’re curious, you can find out more about the Chinese community in the United States by looking at the numbers of foreign-born Chinese residents.
In the United States, a large portion of the Asian population lives in the West, including California. In 2018, about 6.7 million Asians lived in the Golden State. New York, Texas, New Jersey, and Washington made up the rest of the states. With the largest percentage of Asians living in these five states, the Chinese population in the U.S. is concentrated in these five states. In fact, nearly all U.S.-born Asians speak English fluently.