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Over the past 10 years, AAPIs have been the fastest growing racial group, growing almost 50%, more than four times as fast as the total U.S. population. Despite this growth, AAPIs are among the most understudied racial or ethnic minority groups in the U.S.

When President Obama reauthorized the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in 2009, he held it to the task of advancing “relevant evidence-based research, data collection, and analysis for AAPI populations and sub-groups.” From the outset, the Initiative has convened federal agencies, data geeks, researchers, and policy advocates to raise issues of concern around AAPI data, encouraged working relationships, and formulated best strategies and approaches to generate more granular data on AAPI communities.

Data Disaggregation

AAPIs represent over 30 countries and ethnic groups, and speak over 100 different languages. Over 30 Asian countries are recognized by the UN.

Unfortunately, despite the deep diversity of the AAPI community, generalizations have masked the profound needs that exist for many AAPI subgroups. The model-minority myth—

data disagg groups

the notion that virtually all Asian Americans are self-sufficient, well-educated, and upwardly mobile— hides the real differences that exist in

 socioeconomic status, educational

attainment, health, and other areas.

Disaggregated data can help us target resources where they’re most needed: in colleges that enroll a large percentage of low-income AAPI students, in communities where many AAPIs live below the poverty line, and in health centers that address health issues that are particularly important to AAPIs.