Why the Fastest Growing Population in America Is The Least Likely to Fill Out the Census

They are the fastest-growing demographic group in the nation, and activists say they remain largely misunderstood. They want to use this year’s count to help.

Comments: 12

  1. Who and who is not an ' Asian American'? Andrew Yang? Nikki Haley? Jared Kushner? Tammie Duckworth ? Bobbie Jindal? George Takei? Cenk Uygur? Kamala Harris? Stepanie Murphy? Ro Khanna? Andy Kim? Raja Krishnamoortni? Ted Lieu? Pramila Jayapal? Mark Takano? Grace Meng? Ami Bera? Where does Asia begin and Europe end? Asia and Europe are geography. China and India are nationality. Han and Bengali are ethnicity. Hindu and Muslim are faiths. There is only one biological DNA genetic evolutionary fit human race species that began in Africa 300, 000 years ago race aka human and one national origin aka Earth.

  2. @Blackmamba The main goal is to get people to fill out the census form. On the form, each person designates their own ethnicity (or says so to the interviewer). So it's not about the census imposing categories upon people, it's people deciding how to classify themselves. In an ideal world, race/ ethnicity/ nationality/ religion, etc. would not matter but we do not live in an ideal world. Self-classification is also not perfect (the NY Times wrote about how some Puerto Ricans of Black origin put down they are White for a number of cultural, historical, etc. reasons). As one small example, did you know that Asian-American is not even a category when it comes to measuring employment, funding, education, etc. by many agencies, including major non-profits and federal groups? This has consequences in my field of medicine for example. Some medications don't work as well or have more side effects in people of Asian origin than in other groups. Asians (and people of mixed Asian background) often have a harder time than Caucasian when finding a bone marrow donor for leukemia. Yet we won't know this information unless we first measure it and then analyze it. As an alternate example, people who are Black do better with certain blood pressure medications than others. And yes, this gets down to the level of DNA. because ultimately some of those differences originate from DNA. France does not include race in their census but it doesn't solve any issues of race for them.

  3. Brooklyn's Chinatown has been growing explosively. While Trump worries about illegal immigrants from Latin America, I wonder about how many of these Asians are legal? And how are they traveling here? Sorry that this article didn't address that question. I don't know whether this population growth is a good thing or a bad one, but I certainly would like to know more about its source.

  4. @Pierre Lehu The Brooklyn's Chinatown is growing fast partly because the downtown Chinatown is undergoing gentrification and the Asian population there is shrinking for years. Also given the geography of the world (The US and Asia are thousands of miles away and there's no land connecting them, it's terribly hard for Asians to immigrate to the US illegally (most of them will choose Europe instead).

  5. Sorry, I think the census for Asian Americans would be a tough sell at this point with all the bigotry over the coronavirus. I've read and heard horrible things. We are going backwards as a people in race relations because we have a president that sets a policy of hate and intolerance. Census data could be weaponized for every minority. And Trump cares nothing for the privacy of the individual. No way.

  6. Mr. Eligon writes of Asians as if he had just heard of many of them. "Dozens of languages! Countries as diverse as..." One would guess Mr. Eligon, like many others at the Times, can parse various levels of affronts heaped on African Americans, yet he has, or does not offer, any insight into the fraught history of Asian racial discrimination, issues regarding assignment of identity and the complexities of intra-Asian politics (Chinese are "Asian American" if they want to appear as part of a crowd, to hide or to acquire influence through numbers, but when something good happens they're "Chinese-Americans." This goes for federal set aside programs too.) The Woke need to get wakey-wakey re Asians.

  7. This is great work that needs to be done. We saw what happened to many Americans who came or whose parents came from South Asia after 9/11. Several were violently attacked. Earlier in our history we saw over 100,000 Americans in internment camps simply because of Japanese ancestry. With China increasingly becoming "the boogeyman" it may only be a matter of time before we see race-based attacks against Asian Americans. I hope we don't have another Vincent Chin case, but Asian Americans have to stand up, make noise, and establish themselves as clearly American in order to protect themselves.

  8. Thank goodness we are letting in people so quickly we cannot even count them. Our descendants will thank us for helping create third-world living conditions. All so we can pat ourselves on the back for being so open and giving.

  9. @Willt26 "Thank goodness we are letting in people so quickly we cannot even count them." What?! The census has been taken in what became the United States long before this country even became independent. But don't let facts get in the way of your racism.

  10. Why does this article mention Iraq? They are not considered Asian by the census but put into the "White" category.

  11. The US has a weird obsession with race.

  12. The US Census is having trouble counting Asians and Asian-Americans? The last time my Asian-American/European-American family and I were counted in the census was 1990, when I flagged down a census taker on the street near my home in NY and asked why no one had come to our apartment. She said our apartment number wasn’t on her list. In fact, only a few of the 16 or so apartments in our building were in her form. We sat on some steps and she took our information down. Last year, only after the big-to-do about the citizenship question, did I realize we weren’t counted in the 2000 or 2010 census. I don’t believe our grown child, who lives in a different state, filled out a form in those years either. Now we live in Massachusetts. Let’s see if I have to fight my way into the census and be counted — 30 years later.