Reports for Activists and Policy Wonks

When I first came to Washington, DC over 20 years ago, lack of data was one of the biggest barriers to getting policy makers to focus on the Asian American community.  A mark of the success of our advocacy over the years is the growing investment by government, academics and other institutions in collecting data and reporting on our community.  Data is still relatively limited though and I often field inquiries from people who came to rely on me as a resource – both on what data is there as well as what the limitations may be about what is out there.

In addition, many trees are sacrificed for reports that few people see.  The progressive community is woefully short of communications capacity and savvy.  Hopefully, you find this collection of use.  While it is primarily focused on Asian Americans, it contains some resources on other minorities and immigrants.

Pew Research Center: The think tank drew some fire from some Asian American community based organizations for the flawed framing of its new report which largely focused on Asian Americans as the model minority – but the report itself contains extremely interesting information on a wide range of topics.  And unlike many reports that contain survey information, they did invest in researching the significant portion of the immigrant community that feels more comfortable communicating in their native language. Read the report here.

Also check out the groundbreaking report focusing on Asian Americans and religion.

And for an interesting report on intermarriage:  a new report by the Pew Research Center’s Pew Social & Demographic Trends project.

Asian American Justice Center:  AAJC  recently hosted a webinar about AAJC, APIAVote and NAAS’ post-election survey results.  You can find more information on the post-election survey report and webinar at

AAJC learned from Hispanic organizations whose community also had been largely ignored by researchers, that the AAPI community should take matters into our own hands.  AAJC partnered with the Asian Pacific American Legal Center of Southern California first after the 2000 census, and then, as the collective Asian American Center for Advancing Justice, after the 2010 census to focus on data most relevant to policy making.  The report below is the first of a series which will include regional as well as the first ever report on Pacific Islanders.  Check out the AAJC website.

Also check out the May 2012 report with APIA Vote and the Asian American Institute on a national survey of Asian American voters with oversamples in some key states.

National Black Journalists Association: NABJ produced a report on 2011 NABJ Diversity Census: An Examination of Television Newsroom Management that has some very helpful and disturbing data on the lack of diversity at the top of television news stations which helps to explain why we don’t see better coverage of communities of color.

National Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders Research on Education: CARE has done a series of reports on AAPIs in education which highlight data that highlight how the model minority stereotype is resulting in inadequate attention to the needs of AAPI students.  Read the CARE report here.

EEOC: EEOC issued a report in 2008 on an initiative focused on discrimination against Asian American federal government employees.  The report outlined a number of forms of discrimination Asian Americans face that equally apply in the private sector.

Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics:  LEAP has produced a series of reports of Asian Americans in leadership positions.  LEAP did a study of Asian Americans at the top 100 nonprofit boardsHere LEAP’s study on Asian American executive officers at Fortune 500 companies. And here is LEAP’s study on Fortune 500 corporate boardrooms.  \

LEAP recently updated its report on corporate boardrooms.  Since 2010, when LEAP published its first research on API representation on corporate boards, only 16 additional companies in the Fortune 500 now have APIs on their board, which means that 77.2% of these companies lack API representation in their boardrooms. While board seats held by APIs have increased 24 percent in the last three years, we must put these numbers in perspective. It is startling that the fastest growing community in the nation, with the highest college graduation rates, still holds just 2.6 percent of board seats in the entire Fortune 500. The good news is that the comparative data over the past 3 years shows a very slow but positive trend towards adding more directors, gaining more seats, and just as important, more Fortune 500 companies are electing new directors of API descent. In 2012, 129 APIs held 144 board seats in 114 Fortune 500 companies, compared to 96 API directors, 115 board seats at 98 companies in 2010.  Read the key findings of the report or download a PDF copy of the full report.

Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics, Inc. (LEAP) released the results of its seventh report in the Leadership Research Series and the second edition focusing on Asian and Pacific Islander (API) inclusion on the Top 100 foundation boards. The statistics shed light on the stark reality of the scarce number of API leaders in the foundation world.
According to LEAP’s report, in 2012, APIs increased their share of board seats by six from 2010. However, API inclusion has fallen behind in proportion to the total number of board seats going from 4.95 percent in 2010 to 4.0 percent in 2012. The decline is due to an increase in the total number of board seats at these foundations

Immigration Policy Center: IPC produces reports on immigrants in America.  This one provides useful data by state.  The Economic and Political Impact of Immigrants, Latinos and Asians State by State,  This one looks at immigrant voters and their children.   The New American Electorate: The Growing Political Power of Immigrants and their Children


Migration Policy Institute: MPI produces reports on migration issues globally and here in the U.S.  This one focuses on the Asian American community.  Asian Immigrants in the United States.

The Migration Policy Institute’s National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy also has a national, state-, and county-level data on the number, share, and linguistic diversity of Limited English Proficient (LEP) individuals in the United States.  In 2012, 25.2 million individuals over the age of 5 in the United States (9 percent of the total population) have limited proficiency in English, compared with 14 million (6 percent of the total population) in 1990. This growth has been accompanied by a broad-ranging dispersal of immigrants and refugees to dozens of states and hundreds of counties across the United States.
Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights:  The Leadership Conference provides policy oriented reports on issues of concern across communities.  This one is a collaboration that is part of an anti-poverty campaign and contains helpful state level data.  Restoring Shared Prosperity: Strategies to Cut Poverty and Expand Economic Growth.

Bureau of Labor Statistics:  For policy wonks interested in employment and labor issues, here is the first ever report focused on Asian Americans with data disaggregated by ethnicity and national origin.  This report shows why the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders under President Obama has been an important advance and why it is critical to have Asian Americans in public service raising these kinds of needs.  Restoring Shared Prosperity: Strategies to Cut Poverty and Expand Economic Growth

Another report on Asian Americans as workers by the Center for Economic and Policy Research and the Center for Labor Research and Education at UCLA - Diversity and Change: Asian American and Pacific Islander Workers 2011

National Urban League:  NUL has great expertise on economic issues, particularly as they pertain to the African American community.  Here is a report on African American owned businesses.

Project Vote:  This project works on voting issues from a progressive perspective.  Here is an example of one of their reports.  First-Time Voters in the 2008 Election

AARP:  When it was clear that social security policies were on the table, AARP approached AAJC and asked us to engage the community.  I told them we needed specific data in order to effectively educate the community.  Here is the result.  Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders and Social Security: A Primer

Media reports: RTNDA does an annual survey of women and minorities in radio and television.

The 2012 RTDNA/Hofstra University Annual Survey finds the percentage of minorities is up a full percent in television from a year ago — and even more in radio. The percentage of minority news directors also went up in both television and radio. And the percentage of minority news directors at non-Hispanic TV stations set a new high mark — for the second year in a row.

Women overall in TV news stayed almost exactly the same, women TV news directors passed the 30% mark (30.2%) for the first time ever. Women in radio news and women radio news directors both went up noticeably.

Media Matters issued a report on women and minorities as guests and hosts on cable news channels.


Technology reports:  Access to the internet and technology has become a civil rights issue.  Without access and training, it is becoming difficult to even apply a job, much less have the required skills.  Increasingly, it is becoming important to education and children coming to schools without experience and easy access are at a huge disadvantage.  Technology also offers up opportunities to provide affordable and effective assistance to people with disabilities, people with limited English, and people whose work schedules make it difficult to access services during regular business hours.  Agencies at the Department of Commerce monitor and report on digital access.  While helpful, the accuracy with respect to Asian Americans is somewhat in question because the methodology does not address the significant population that is limited English proficient and more likely to have low incomes as a result.  Here is a report from last year.  Exploring the Digital Nation

Census Bureau:  The Census Bureau publishes a lot of reports, but can be daunting to navigate.  Here are some that you might find useful.  The Census 2010 and American Community Service survey are among the few data sources that invests in outreach and assistance in some of the Asian languages.

Some great graphic depictions and summary of Asian American data are contained in these documents.

The U.S. Census Bureau released a 2010 Census brief, The Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander Population: 2010 [PDF].

Here is their 2010 Census brief on Hispanics.  The Hispanic Population: 2010

For policy wonks interested in education information, check out here.

For information on foreign born population: Foreign-Born Population of the United States: 2010

The latest census report on election participation between 2008-2012: The Diversifying Electorate — Voting Rates by Race and Hispanic Origin in 2012 (and Other Recent Elections)