Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month – Origins, Themes & Populations

Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month (AAPI Heritage Month) is an annual celebration that recognizes the historical and cultural contributions of individuals and groups of Asian and Pacific Islander descent to the United States. The AAPI umbrella term includes cultures from the entire Asian continent—including East, Southeast and South Asia—and the Pacific Islands of Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia. As of 2019, there were about 22.9 million people of Asian or Pacific Islander descent in the United States. According to the Pew Research Center, AAPI people are a diverse and growing population that make up about 7 percent of the total US population. AAPI Heritage Month 2022 will take place from Sunday, May 1 to Tuesday, May 31.

Origins of AAPI Heritage Month

The effort to officially recognize Asian American and Pacific Islander contributions to the United States began in the late 1970s, and took over 10 years to make it a permanent month-long celebration.

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