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Saturday, February 15, 2020

Asian Americans and the Census

John Eligon at NYT:
Asian-Americans have been relegated as the sub-minority — that we’re not black, we’re not Hispanic,” said Gene Wu, a Democratic state representative from Houston who is Chinese-American. “For a large part, we’re an afterthought.”
Ms. Yi believes the census could change that, but first more Asian-Americans need to be persuaded to complete it.
In a survey, Asian-Americans reported a lower likelihood of filling out their census forms than any other demographic group. They are also the least familiar with the census, on average, and the most worried that their information will be used against them, according to a Census Bureau report.
The number of Asian-Americans grew by more than 25 percent from 2010 to 2017, according to census estimates. Two-thirds of Asian-Americans were born abroad, by far the largest share of any major racial or demographic group (Hispanics are second at one-third), according to an analysis of census figures by A.A.P.I. Data, a demographic and policy research group.
There are dozens of Asian languages, and more than one-third of Asian-Americans speak limited English. While the online census forms are offered in five Asian languages, and the Census Bureau is publishing informational guides in about two dozen Asian languages, activists say they are concerned that the bureau has slashed the number of Asian languages in which it will advertise.
 Tashi Phuntsok, an Austin restaurant owner who is Tibetan and Nepalese and has been in the United States for 25 years, said he would fill out the census because he felt that representation was important for people like him. Still, he worried about the possibility that the census could help the government locate and target particular ethnic groups, pointing to the internment of Japanese-Americans in camps during World War II.