New Report on Diversity & Complexity of Asian and Pacific Islander Community

Washington, DC: The National Asian Pacific American Legal Consortium and its affiliates the Asian Pacific American Legal Center and the Asian Law Caucus have announced the release of a new demographic profile report, The Diverse Face of Asians and Pacific Islanders in California. This report dispels the myth that the Asian and Pacific Islander community is a monolithic and unreservedly successful ethnic group. In fact, the report shows that the Asian American community is composed of many different groups with many different characteristics.

The Diverse Face of Asian and Pacific Islanders in California is the first report using Census 2000 and other data providing detailed information on the characteristics of more than 20 API ethnic groups statewide and regionally. APALC was the principal researcher for this report. Social and economic indicators often show APIs doing better collectively than Latinos and African Americans. However, data on individual API ethnic groups reveal that many, especially Southeast Asians and Pacific Islanders, are faring worse. The report’s key findings include: · Data broken down for more than 20 API ethnic groups find some to be among the most poverty stricken in the state. Hmong, Cambodians, and Laotians make up some of the poorest communities in California.

Asian households suffer from the highest levels of linguistic isolation in the state. · A disproportionate number of Asians and Pacific Islanders live in overcrowded housing. Statewide, one out of four APIs in California live in overcrowded housing and 14% live in severely crowded housing. “The Asian and Pacific Islanders of California make up one-third of the nation’s total Asian and Pacific Islander population, and are among the fastest growing racial and ethnic groups,” said Karen K. Narasaki, President and Executive Director of the NAPALC. “This report is indicative about what is going on in the Asian and Pacific Islander community nation-wide. Business institutions and government agencies on the federal, state and local level will be able to use this report to better serve the needs of our community.” “While we’ve seen progress over the past decade, our community continues to face challenges,” said Stewart Kwoh, President and Executive Director of the APALC.

“This research is critical if government and community institutions are to truly understand and help APIs respond to those challenges.” “Many Californians remain unaware that Southeast Asians and Pacific Islanders are among the state’s poorest communities, or that a hospital’s failure to provide interpretation in Asian languages denies critical emergency care to limited English proficient seniors,” said Philip Y. Ting, Executive Director of the ALC. “It is particularly important that policy makers, both locally and in Sacramento, understand our community and its needs.”


Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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