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Chinese Americans continue to concentrate in the West and in urban areas.

One state, California, accounts for 40 percent of all Chinese Americans (1.1 million).

In the 1870s, white workers' frustration with economic distress, labor market uncertainty, and capitalist exploitation turned into anti-Chinese sentiment and racist attacks against the Chinese called them the "yellow peril." In 1882, the U. Congress passed the Chinese Exclusion Act, and later extended to exclude all Asian immigrants until World War II.

Social mobility among Chinese Americans also vary because of tremendous socioeconomic diversity.

One pattern of social mobility is the time-honored path of starting at the bottom and moving up through hard work.

New York accounts for 16 percent, second only to California, and Hawai'i for 6 percent.

However, other states that have historically received fewer Chinese immigrants have witnessed phenomenal growth, such as Texas, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Illinois, Washington, Florida, Maryland, and Pennsylvania.

Legal exclusion, augmented by extralegal persecution and anti-Chinese violence, effectively drove the Chinese out of the mines, farms, woolen mills, and factories on the West Coast.

As a result, many Chinese laborers already in the United States lost hope of ever fulfilling their dreams and returned permanently to China.

Some arrived in the United States with little money, minimum education, and few job skills, which forced them to take low-wage jobs and settle in deteriorating urban neighborhoods.

Others came with family savings, education and skills far above the levels of average Americans.

Among cities with populations over 100,000, New York City (365,000), San Francisco (161,000), Los Angeles (74,000), Honolulu (69,000), and San Jose (58,000) have the largest numbers of Chinese Americans.

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