NORTHWEST ASIAN WEEKLY
New results from an NPR survey released on Dec. 6 show that large numbers of Asian Americans experience and perceive discrimination in many areas of their daily lives — despite their having average incomes that outpace other racial, ethnic, and identity groups.
The poll, a collaboration among NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, also finds a wide gap between immigrant and nonimmigrant Asian Americans in reporting discrimination experiences, including violence and harassment.
The survey was conducted among a nationally representative probability-based telephone (cell and landline) sample of 500 Asian American adults. Interviews were conducted in English, Mandarin, Cantonese, and Vietnamese.
Some of the key findings:
- 27 percent say they have been personally discriminated against when applying for jobs.
- 25 percent say they have been personally discriminated against when being paid equally or considered for promotions.
- 25 percent say they have been personally discriminated against when trying to rent or buy housing.
- 32 percent say they have personally experienced racial or ethnic slurs.
- 35 percent say they have experienced people making negative assumptions or insensitive or offensive comments about their race or ethnicity.
- 61 percent believe that there is discrimination against Asian Americans in the United States today, and younger Asian Americans are significantly more likely to believe such discrimination exists.
“Our poll shows that Asian American families have the highest average income among the groups we’ve surveyed, and yet the poll still finds that Asian Americans experience persistent discrimination in housing, jobs, and at college,” says Robert Blendon, professor of health policy and political analysis at the Harvard Chan School, who co-directed the survey.
“Over the course of our series, we are seeing again and again that income is not a shield from discrimination.”