History, Generations, Immigration and Length of U.S. Residency
Koreans are one of the largest, fastest growing Asian groups in the United States (Jackson, 2006; library.ca.gov, N.D.a). During 1903-1905 came the first wave of Korean immigrants to the United States. Around 7,000 Korean came to Hawaii as farm laborers in sugar plantation. Within a few years 1,000 of them returned to Korea. About 2,000 of the early immigrants left Hawaii and came to the continental United States. In less than one century the number has grown to an estimated one million (Lee, 1995). Many more began to immigrate after the passage of the Immigration Act of 1965. As of 2000, ethnic Koreans living in the United States are largely concentrated in California, New York, Texas, Washington, Illinois, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, and Virginia. Los Angeles, with its Korea town district, is home to the largest concentration of Koreans outside of Asia (Wikipedia, 2007a).
The Census 2000 recorded an additional 151,555 Americans of part-Korean ancestry. There are 56,825 adopted children of Korean nativity and place of birth. (2000 US Census) 99,061 Koreans were adopted into the U.S. during 1953-2001. (Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare, 2002) According to the South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade 2,157,498 ethnic Koreans live in the United States in 2003. However a large number of these are students or temporary workers and hence do not have permanent residence status. A number of US states have declared January 13 as Korean-American Day due to their impact and contributions to the American society (Wikipedia, 2007a).