The month of May was chosen for AAPI Heritage Month because it commemorates the immigration of the first Japanese people to the United States on May 7, 1843. May is also a significant month because it recognizes Golden Spike Day, May 10, 1869, which marks the completion of the transcontinental railroad that was built with significant contributions from Chinese workers. 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 the 2020 U.S. Census, there were about 20.6 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 U.S. population.