FACT SHEET: Improving Federal Efforts to Understand Data on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Oct. 6, 2016) — The White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders on Thursday released a FACT SHEET: Improving Federal Efforts to Understand Data on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders.
On Friday, October 7, the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders – which is housed in the Department of Education – will co-host with the University of California, Riverside (AAPIData.com) the ELEVATE: AAPI Data Challenge and Convening in Washington, DC. ELEVATE will showcase innovative approaches in analyzing, interpreting, and presenting data about the Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community received as part of a challenge announced earlier this year that included submissions from high school students, graduate students, CEOs, statisticians, data scientists, the media, and advocacy groups. At the ELEVATE convening, representatives from federal agencies, vendors, think tanks, and academia will discuss the importance of data and how they use data to improve outcomes in areas including education, workforce diversity, health, business development, and civic participation. ELEVATE will be a robust day of innovative ideas, networking opportunities, and development of future collaborations.
AAPIs are the fastest-growing racial group, projected to surpass 50 million in number by 2060. AAPIs are also one of the most diverse racial groups, representing dozens of ethnicities, cultures, and migration stories from around the world. In the first year of his Administration, President Obama reestablished the White House Initiative on AAPIs, to help ensure that AAPIs are able to access and participate in federal programs in which they remain underserved. Improved data collection, analysis, and dissemination have been at the forefront of the Initiative’s work to identify and address masked needs within AAPI subgroups. Among other factors, a lack of granular data on AAPIs has historically contributed to the model minority myth: that virtually all AAPIs are self-sufficient, well-educated, and upwardly mobile. Greater access to granular data will support policies that better reflect AAPI community realities and needs.
Since 2009, the Initiative has aimed to encourage data collection, dissemination, and disaggregation among federal agencies, state and local partners, researchers, and policy advocates, promoting effective practices to generate more granular data on AAPI communities. Across the federal government, agencies have developed plans to improve data collection, analysis, and dissemination to help improve the quality of life for all Americans, including AAPIs.
The following highlights federal accomplishments in using data to improve our understanding of the challenges faced by AAPIs.
Recent commitments made and strengthened
· In September 2016, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued a Federal Register NoticeFederal Register Notice advising the public of the launch of its periodic review of Federal standards for maintaining, collecting, and presenting federal data on race and ethnicity. The review is scheduled to coincide with preparations for the decennial census. The Federal Interagency Working Group for Research on Race and Ethnicity Measurement identified several areas where revisions to the standards might improve the quality of race and ethnicity information collected by federal agencies, and OMB is seeking public comment on those areas of focus as well as on the broader principles that should govern any changes to existing standards.
· In October 2016, the President issued a Presidential Memorandum that provides guidance on the implementation of policies to promote diversity and inclusion in the national security workforce. Among other actions, the memorandum provides guidance for departments and agencies to make key workforce data available to the general public, provide an annual report to their leadership and workforce on the status of diversity and inclusion efforts, expand the use of applicant flow data to assess the fairness and inclusiveness of their recruitment efforts, and identify any additional demographic categories they recommend for voluntary data collection.
· In October 2016, the Department of Labor (DOL) released The Economic Status of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders report. The report is an update to DOL’s 2011 and 2014 reports and provides updated information on the labor market outcomes of AAPIs and AAPI subgroups. It again illustrates how looking at the outcomes of AAPIs as a whole can mask important differences that exist between subgroups and shows how much progress AAPIs have made in recovering from the impacts of the Great Recession. The report also shows the extent to which observed differences in outcomes between AAPIs and other workers may be explained by differences in labor force characteristics such as educational attainment, age, geographic distribution, and job characteristics.
· In September 2016, the National Forum on Education Statistics (Forum) published its Forum Guide to Collecting and Using Disaggregated Data on Racial/Ethnic Subgroups, which discusses strategies for collecting data on more detailed racial/ethnic subgroups than the seven categories used in federal reporting. In October 2015, the Forum convened a Data Disaggregation of Racial/Ethnic Subgroups Working Group to identify best practices for disaggregating data. The Guide identifies some of the overarching benefits and challenges involved in data disaggregation; recommends appropriate practices for disaggregating data in districts and states; and describes real-world examples of large and small education agencies disaggregating data successfully.
In September 2016, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released initial results from the collection of Asian subgroup data in its 2015 American Housing Survey. Additional results will be released in late 2016 and early 2017. HUD also released results from a project matching HUD-assistant tenant administrative data to the Census Bureau’s 2014 American Community Survey. This data-matching project provided the first ever look at the presence of Asian subgroups within HUD rental assistance programs.
AAPI data best practices shared within federal agencies and with the public
· In March 2016, the White House Initiative on AAPIs’ Interagency Working Group Data and Research Sub-Committee released its Best Practices for the Disaggregation of Federal Data on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders report. The report contains an overview of best practices for providing disaggregated AAPI data, including best practices for overcoming various challenges in data collection, data analysis and evaluation, and data access and dissemination.
· In September 2015, the White House Initiative on AAPIs and the National Commission on Asian American and Pacific Islander Research in Education co-hosted the second iCount: Equity Through Representation Symposium second iCount: Equity Through Representation Symposium in Washington, DC. The Symposium highlighted local efforts to advance data collection focused on underserved AAPIs. Nearly 100 participants, including students, deans and presidents of colleges, institutional researchers, congressional staffers, and representatives from foundations and advocacy organizations from around the United States and territories participated in the Symposium to address the need for educational equity through the collection and utilization of better data.
· In June 2013, the White House Initiative on AAPIs partnered with the National Commission on Asian American and Pacific Islander Research in Education to host iCount: Equity through Representation, a two-day symposium that addressed the hurdles educational institutions and community groups face in disaggregating AAPI student data and brainstormed best practices to implementing data disaggregation systems at those institutions. The event featured a briefing for representatives from philanthropic organizations, panels comprised of representatives from the 40 educational institutions in attendance, and intensive breakout sessions designed to identify concrete solutions to the problem.
· In August 2012, the U.S. Office of Management and Budget released a Statistical Policy Working Paper Federal Agency Approaches to Providing Statistical Information on Detailed Asian and Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander Groups. The Working Paper summarizes the approaches taken by various federal statistical agencies in obtaining statistical data on AAPIs.
Improving the collection of AAPI data
· In 2015, HUD included for the first time the collection of Asian subgroup data in its biennial American Housing Survey, the most comprehensive national housing survey in the United States. HUD also for the first time broke out “Asian” and “Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander” populations in its Annual Homelessness Assessment Report, a report to Congress that provides nationwide estimates of homelessness, for the first time as well.
· In February 2015, the Department of Justice’s Federal Bureau of Investigation released its Hate Crime Data Collection Guidelines and Training Manual (Manual) to assist law enforcement agencies in reporting incidents of hate crime to the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program. Under the guidelines set forth by the Manual, the FBI’s hate crime data collection procedures now include “Anti-Sikh,” “Anti-Hindu,” and “Anti-Arab/Anti-Middle Eastern” as categories of bias motivation, i.e. whether the offender’s criminal act was motivated, in whole or in part, by his or her bias based on a specified category.
· In 2014, the National Center for Health Statistics conducted a special survey on Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (NHPI) households for the National Health Interview Survey. This survey collected information about the health of NHPIs in all 50 states, making it possible for policymakers, community leaders, researchers and health professionals to understand NHPI health problems, strengths, and needs and to plan policies and programs informed by this information.
· In May 2012, the Department of Education issued a Request for Information (RFI) to collect information about promising practices and policies regarding existing education data systems and models that disaggregate data on subgroups within the AAPI student population, to allow state educational agencies, local educational agencies, schools, and institutions of higher education to better obtain such data to improve their ability to respond to the unique needs and issues that might exist for these subgroups.
· In October 2011, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) promulgated final data collection standards for race, ethnicity, primary language, sex, and disability status. The new HHS data standards for race and ethnicity include seven additional categories for Asian subpopulations (Asian Indian, Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, and Other Asian) and four additional categories for Pacific Islander subpopulations (Native Hawaiian, Guamanian or Chamorro, Samoan, and Other Pacific Islander). These additional categories for AAPIs allows HHS agencies to document and track health disparities with greater detail.
Improving access to data and the dissemination of data analysis
· In September 2014, the White House Initiative on AAPIs, in partnership with Data.gov, launched Data.gov/AAPI, a website that catalogs government data of potential relevance to AAPIs. Data.gov/AAPI includes more than 1,800 datasets from nearly 50 federal, state, county, and city sources on topics including socioeconomic status, educational attainment, and health.
· In 2014, the Social Security Administration began posting data on Asian and Pacific Islander (API) language preferences. The data captured these language preferences through claims processes for Social Security Retirement, Survivors and Disability Insurance, and Supplemental Security Income. It also included AAPI language information on requests for telephone interpreter services call volume, and the number of bi- or multilingual Social Security employees who volunteer their services as an interpreter and/or translator in AAPI languages.
· In August 2014, DOL released The Economic Status of AAPIs in the Wake of the Great Recession report. The report serves as an update to DOL’s 2011 report, and provides context for the differences in economic outcomes experienced by AAPI workers relative to those of other groups. In particular, the report examines whether the characteristics of the AAPI population, including very high levels of educational attainment among some AAPIs, correspond to expected differences in unemployment and earnings across race and ethnic groups. The report also illustrates how different race and ethnic groups fared in the Great Recession, and shows the extent to which they have recovered, by presenting differences in various labor market outcomes of the groups.
· In July 2011, DOL released The Asian American Labor Force in the Recovery report. The report notes that the aggregate measurements of the Asian American community “veil the wide variations within this highly diverse group.” According to the report, “[n]umbers broken down by gender, by age and by country of origin, illustrate that there exists significant disparity within those who identify their race as Asian. These numbers demonstrate that some Asian-Americans face greater challenges and therefore need more attention and assistance than the aggregate data suggest.”