Check out Hyphen's original infographic spreads here: Population Data, Languages, Education, Internet, Income, Health, Veterans, Voting, Businesses, Poverty, Future.
We are in an age where Facebook could arguably paint a more accurate picture of the American population. But the US census, one of America's oldest mandates, remains a vital benchmark of growth and change.
Results from last year’s census show signs of growth and economic success in the Asian American community, but also highlight huge disparities. As in previous census years, statistics indicate Asian Americans as an economically successful and highly educated population. However, they also illuminate the staggering high school dropout rates among Southeast Asian Americans, the health problems of chronic hepatitis B and cervical cancer in the AAPI population and the fact that someone in this group with a bachelor’s degree is more likely to be unemployed than a White person with comparable education.
These are the facts, but questions remain. How does our high level of access to the Internet affect our education levels? What accounts for mixed-race population growth in specific states? Were increases in population due in part to better outreach to poor communities and people of color, traditionally undercounted by the census?
Statistics may show that Asian Americans are above average in education level and make more than the country’s median household income, but in the ethnic breakdowns, it’s clear that certain Asian subgroups reflect a vastly different reality. The status of Hmong, Cambodian, Laotian and other smaller yet distinct communities go unnoticed in the larger Asian American context, making federal and local resources and services at risk of being directed away from where they are desperately needed. Though the “Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander” population was designated as its own category in the 2000 census, after a decades-long movement for its disaggregation, specific community needs are not met when social services and local agencies continue to lump the populations together with East Asian and Southeast Asian data.
Over the past five months, Hyphen teamed with the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders to present a series of census stories on our website, each focusing on a different sector of life such as the economy, education or health in relation to the Asian American population. We interviewed true movers and shakers about their opinions on the emerging data and highlighted individuals whose stories mirror the national trends of today. Read our ongoing census coverage here, and check out Hyphen's original infographic spreads about the 2010 Census.