WASHINGTON, D.C., May 13, 2014 – In recognition of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, AARP is presenting ten important facts about Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) age 50 and older, an understudied population that has unique needs and challenges.
“There is a gap in our knowledge about older AAPIs,” said Daphne Kwok, AARP Vice President of Multicultural Markets and Engagement for the Asian American and Pacific Islander Audience. “The demand for disaggregated data about AAPI sub-groups is critical in identifying the needs of AAPIs so that organizations like AARP, other community-based non-profits, and policymakers can address the concerns of a booming segment of our community.”
Compared to the general U.S. population, older AAPIs are more likely to be married and live in three-generation households. AAPIs age 65+ are also likely to be under more financial strain than other Americans. One out of seven older AAPIs live in poverty and are on food stamps compared to one out of eleven in the general population.
Research shows that older AAPIs are at a high risk of being socially isolated. The majority of AAPIs 50+ are foreign-born and may have limited English proficiency. Almost one in four older AAPIs are linguistically isolated and don’t live with someone who can speak English well. Those who are alone most of the time are at risk for accidents, illness, and overall poor health.
Data also shows that older AAPIs are also more likely to travel internationally and be more environmentally conscious than other Americans in the same age group.
Top 10 facts about AAPIs age 50 and older:
• The majority (87%) of older AAPIs were born outside of the U.S., but most have become naturalized citizens (64%).
• More than eight in ten (86%) older AAPIs speak a non-English language at home. Almost a quarter (24%) of older AAPIs are linguistically isolated and live in a household where no person over the age 14 speaks English very well.
• Compared to other older Americans (60%), older AAPIs are more likely to be married (70%) and tend to live in three-generation households (17% of AAPIs age 50+ vs. 7% of total U.S. population age 50+ and 25% of AAPIs age 65+ vs 6% total U.S. population age 65+). The high marriage rate may be due to the fact that Filipinos, the second largest Asian group in the U.S., come from the only country in the world where divorce is illegal.
• AAPIs age 65 and older are at more risk for economic insecurity in their later years compared to those in the total U.S. population of the same age:
– 14% are on food stamps vs. 9%
– 13% live in poverty vs. 9%
– 68% receive social security income vs. 86%
– 22% have retirement income from pensions and various retirement plans vs. 37%
• AAPIs age 65 and older are more likely to be concerned about housing costs compared to the total U.S. population of the same age:
– 29% own their home free and clear vs. 48%
– 42% own their home with a mortgage vs. 31%
– 24% rent their home vs. 16%
– Twenty percent of AAPIs age 50-64 have no health insurance, compared to 15% of the total U.S. population. Older AAPIs are almost twice as likely than older Americans to get their insurance from a health maintenance organization (27% vs. 15%).
• Older AAPIs are more likely to access the Internet than other older Americans (75% in the past 30 days vs. 67%).
• Older AAPIs visited Facebook at about the same rate as other older Americans in the past 30 days (39% vs. 38%), but are more likely to visit LinkedIn (13% vs. 8%) and three times more likely to visit Yelp (9 % vs. 3%).
• Older AAPIs are more environmentally responsible compared to the other older Americans:
– 82% recycle glass, plastic, or paper vs. 69%
– 46% recycle electronics like batteries, cell phones, and computers vs. 37%
– 33% drive less or use alternative transportation vs. 28%
– 50% use cloth or other reusable shopping bags vs. 41%
– 52% use less water at home vs. 41%
– 24% buy organic food vs. 15%
• Older AAPIs travel internationally frequently. More than half (53%) took a foreign trip in the past three years vs. 32% of other older Americans. AAPIs’ most likely travel destinations for the past three years were Asia and Europe (both 16%). Canada and Mexico are the third and fourth most likely destinations (13% and 10%).
The AARP Research Center analyzed data from the 2012 American Community Survey PUMS and a 2013 Scarborough USA English-language survey of more than 1,800 Asian Americans age 18 and older. www.AARP.org/AAPI