Filipino-American Population

Fil-Am or FilAm is short for Filipino-American. A slang word used by some is Flip. Most Filipino-Americans have a fondness for the words Pinoy and Pinay, meaning Filipino and Filipina, respectively.


Fil-Americans are the second largest subgroup among Asian-Americans. Filipinos began emigrating in significant numbers to the United States in 1898 after the Spanish-American War.

There are now about four million Filipino Americans in the United States, approximately 1.5% of the country's population. They speak a wide array of Philippine languages — Tagalog, Ilokano, Kapampangan, Bikolano, etc. 


Filipino immigrants can be divided into four groups:

1. Filipino pensionados, who were given scholarships by the American government to come to the United States for training. These students agreed to return to the Philippines to improve education in the islands.

2. Filipinos who immigrated to the United States seeking to improve their economic status.

3. Filipinos who entered the country as U.S. citizens by way of marriage or as dependents of U.S. citizens.

4. Filipino professionals, such as physicians, nurses, social workers and clergy, who believed they could find more career opportunities in the United States.

Currently, it is common to see Filipino doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers in hospitals and other health institutions across the United States. Many immigrants or their descendants hold jobs in government or private industry or operate their own businesses.

* a  pensionado is a government-subsidized scholar under the Pensionado Act of 1903