Reading Between the Data: The Incomplete Story of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders

Reading Between the Data: The Incomplete Story of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders

Aggregated data about "Asian Americans" tend to conceal the variations among ethnic and national subgroups with very different cultural, social, and historical backgrounds, a report from the Center for American Progress finds. According to the report, Reading Between the Data: The Incomplete Story of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (29 pages, PDF), there are significant disparities in income, poverty rates, and educational attainment among various Asian-American subgroups. And while a substantial share of Asian-American subpopulations struggle with poverty and a lack of health insurance, those disparities often are masked by the data for other, larger subpopulations. As a result, government policies, programs, and services targeted to the broader Asian-American population may not be meeting the specific needs of some subpopulations. The report calls on the government to support the collection of more granular data by addressing factors that lead to underreporting, oversampling subpopulations that are likely to underreport, focusing more on disaggregated data, and creating a central data repository on communities of color.

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