New Report Calls for Increased Resources in 2020 Census for Boys and Men, Especially Asian American and Pacific Islanders

Report examines how low educational attainment, high levels of incarceration, homelessness, and poverty impact the collection of data on AAPI boys and men
For Immediate Release
Contact
Michelle Boykins 202-296-2300, ext. 0144 mboykins@advancingjustice-aajc.org
Rita Ahrens rahrens@apiasf.org

Washington, D.C. – April 6, 2018 – Asian American and Pacific Islander boys and men are disproportionately susceptible to being miscounted in the 2020 Census, according to a new report from Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC (Advancing Justice | AAJC) and the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF), and sponsored by RISE for Boys and Men of Color. The report, "Asian American and Pacific Islander Boys and Men: The Risk of Being Missed in the U.S. 2020 Census," observes the challenges that make it harder to reach and include Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) boys and men in Census counts. The report examines how low educational attainment, high levels of incarceration, homelessness, and poverty impact the collection of data on AAPI boys and men and the economic implications of being undercounted by the Census. Perpetual challenges to undercounting AAPIs include language and cultural barriers – especially for immigrants who misunderstand the purpose of the Census, how the data is used, and whether they are eligible to participate.

“Advancing Justice | AAJC pursues a fair and accurate census count of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders because we know the potential challenges of our incredibly diverse communities – comprising nearly 50 different ethnicities, more than 100 languages, and numerous religions,” said John C. Yang, president and executive director, Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC. “Census data provides communities an opportunity to better understand themselves and also to access the information we need to advocate for support and solutions for our community’s needs.”

"The success of AAPI boys and men depends on collecting high quality data, but too many barriers currently exist for there to be an accurate count by the U.S. Census," said Neil Horikoshi, President and Executive Director of APIASF. "As a result, it is nearly impossible to identify where AAPI boys and men are falling behind in educational access and upward mobility.  That means our community has been left out of the equation when it comes to policy and research considerations. With this report, we can move the conversation to examine best practices to ensure that the 2020 Census captures the most accurate picture of educational attainment in the diverse AAPI community." 

The report recommends increasing more funds for the Census Bureau than requested by the current administration to sustain current levels of data collection and improve the accuracy of counts for AAPIs and communities of color.  Other recommendations include culturally and linguistically appropriate outreach targeting hard to reach communities, language assistance programs, and diversifying the staff at the U.S. Census Bureau. By implementing these strategies, the 2020 Census will be better equipped to collect and report high-quality data on the AAPI community, without leaving AAPI boys and men behind. 

“With the 2020 Census quickly approaching, it is imperative that all communities of color continue to advocate for respectful collecting and accurate counting of our communities,” said Michael Ishimoto, Senior Data Analyst of RISE for Boys and Men of Color. “With more accurate data we can strategically respond to longstanding needs, challenges, and opportunities in policymaking, research, and programming for our communities.”

The lead writers from Advancing Justice | AAJC and APIASF will present their insights during a webinar on April 9, 2018 at 3pm EST. The report is available for download through the RISE website.

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