Our Stories

Our Stories

Asians make up 12.6% and Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islanders make up 1.1% of Long Beach’s 462,257 population. That is 58,244 Asians and 5,085 Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islanders in Long Beach (U.S Census, 2010). This is enough to make up one council district in the City of Long Beach. However, little is known about the history and contributions of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the City of Long Beach. Furthermore, there is a fragmented network of the community throughout the city where we are disconnected and without a strong unified voice on a variety of issues that includes health, housing, environment, and many others.

Asian and Pacific Islanders have a long and rich history in Long Beach and we want to share and uplift our stories and our active voice and work.


  • Japanese began arriving in Long Beach in the early 20th century and by 1907 almost 200 Issei had established small businesses and farms on land they rented or worked as sharecroppers.
  • Over 440 residents and dozens of businesses, community groups and cultural organizations made up Long Beach’s Japantown in 1941.
  • By the outbreak of the war there were nearly fifty local fruit markets and produce stands and several wholesale produce companies; the Long Beach Produce Market association provided a hub for their activity.
  • On 1942, Executive Order 9066 was authorized by President Roosevelt to remove Japanese nationals and Japanese Americans for internment to inland facilities.
  • Most did not return to the city after their release from the camps. Due to this and other factors, Japanese Americans now make up less than 1% of the population of Long Beach, but the Japanese Community Center and a Japanese Buddhist Church survived.


  • According to U.S. Census Bureau data, concentrations of Filipinos developed in west Long Beach in the 1940s because of the United States Naval Shipyard.
  • Enlisting in the U.S. Navy was a means to gain U.S. citizenship for Filipino men and entry for their close relatives as U.S. permanent residents.
  • Approximately 20,000 Filipino-Americans live in Long beach.

Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders

  • An influx of Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders arrived in California in the 1950s after World War II. Post World War II, military service brought Pacific Islanders from the United States territories of American Samoa and Guam to California.
  • Samoan Americans arrived in the US to work in agriculture and factories. Long Beach, CA and Honolulu, Hawai’i have the largest Samoan communities outside of Samoa.
  • Furthermore, since the 1960s Tongans immigrated to Long Beach and other cities seeking economic opportunities.


  • Cambodians connection to Long Beach began in the early 1960s when students attended a CSU Long Beach through a program funded by USAID.
  • Large numbers of Cambodians resettled in Long Beach beginning with evacuees following the fall of Cambodia to the Khmer Rouge in 1975, making Long Beach the largest Cambodian community in the United States.
  • Today, According to the 2000 census, Asian make up 12.6% (58,244) and Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders make up 1.1% (5,085) of Long Beach’s population.
  • And we are Long Beach.





“Samoan Americans arrived in the US to work in agriculture and factories in the mid-20th century. Long Beach, CA and Honolulu, Hawai’i have the largest Samoan communities outside of Samoa.”




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