Census 2000: Whats At Stake for the Asian Pacific American Community
In 1990, approximately 66% percent of Asian Pacific Americans (APAs) lived in just five states: California, New York, Texas, Illinois, and Hawaii. All of these states, with the exception of Hawaii, were among the top ten states undercounted in the country. Furthermore, APAs had significant populations in New York City, San Francisco, San Jose, Chicago and Houston ö all cities with a high undercount.
The APA community is diverse. While APA families had a median income of $49,100 in 1996, about 15% of APA families had income below the poverty level. 66 percent of Asian Indian men have bachelors or graduate degrees while only 3.5% of Laotian American women have finished college.
The Asian Pacific American community is also the fastest growing population. According to the Census Bureau, APAs are projected to increase by 412.5 % from 1992 to 2050.
Asian Pacific Americans will lose out if the 2000 Census is inaccurate. Census data are the basis for virtually all demographic information used by educators, policy makers, and community leaders and directly affect funding for many programs critical to Asian Pacific Americans. Accurate Census Information is Critical to a Number of Initiatives
- To enforce provisions under the Civil Rights Act prohibiting discrimination based upon race, sex, religion, and national origin.
- To allocate funds to nonprofit organizations for employment resources geared to assist new immigrants in their transition to self-sufficiency under the Refugee Education Assistance Act.
- To fund the Adult Education Act designed to improve educational skills, complete secondary schooling, and provide job training and placement for adults.
- To allocate funds to the Bilingual Education Program to school districts for children with limited English language proficiency.
- To monitor and enforce provisions under the Voting Rights Act.