Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

Issues and Facts

The Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community is the fastest growing racial group in the country, growing over four times as rapidly as the total U.S. population and expected to double to over 47 million by 2060. Despite this tremendous growth, AAPIs are one of the most understudied racial groups in the country.

It is critical to collect, analyze, and disseminate data on AAPIs to address masked needs within AAPI subgroups. Lack of data, including granular data on AAPIs, contributes to the model minority myth — the notion that virtually all AAPIs are self-sufficient, well-educated, and upwardly mobile. Greater access to disaggregated data will support better policies that reflect AAPI community realities and needs.

Since 2009, the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI) has aimed to advance data collection, dissemination and disaggregation among federal agencies, state and local partners, researchers, and policy advocates, promoting best practices to generate more granular data on AAPI communities. Objectives to improve data collection, analysis, and dissemination on the AAPI community are a major deliverable in WHIAAPI Agency Plans — strategic plans among 24 federal agencies and offices working to improve the quality of life for AAPIs.

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Visit, the most comprehensive single location to find government data on the Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander community. features approximately 2,000 datasets and reports from nearly 50 federal, state, and city sources.

WHIAAPI encourages researchers to leverage these data sets for new analysis, policymakers to use the data and analysis for smarter planning, and federal representatives to continue contributing vital data to this resource. increases access to open data and furthers the Administration’s efforts to make government-held data more accessible.

Examples from

Topic Indicator Learn more about the source data set on
Education In the first year of college, Asian American and black students have the highest enrollment rates in remedial education courses. My Brother’s Keeper Key Statistical Indicators on Boys and Men of Color
Education Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders have the highest rates of reported incidents where drug use was made available to them on school property. Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Department of Education
Health Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander youth have the second highest rate of HIV infection diagnosis among persons ages 13-24. My Brother’s Keeper Key Statistical Indicators on Boys and Men of Color
Civil rights In 2012, almost 15% of Asian girls between the ages of 6 and 17 lived in poverty. Current Population Survey, U.S. Census Bureau
Civil rights Asian American veterans are among the oldest and have the least education across all racial groups. Profile of Minority Veterans, Department of Veterans Affairs
Employment Pacific Islanders have among the highest unemployment rates of all racial and ethnic groups. Current Population Survey- Labor Force Statistics
Immigration Over 40% of all immigrants who obtained legal permanent residents in 2011 last resided in an Asian country. Department of Homeland Security Immigration Statistics
Immigration Of the immigrant orphans adopted by U.S. citizens in 2010, 49% were of Asian descent. Department of Homeland Security Immigration Statistics
Small business Asian-owned businesses with paid employment grew by 28% from over 2.2 million workers to more than 2.8 million between 2002 and 2007. Survey of Business Owners, U.S. Census Bureau


Below are tools to help sort through the datasets. Each tool assists in the analysis of compiled datasets, and includes links to other resources, documents, and websites that offer useful research on AAPIs.

  • ED Data Inventory: ED Data Inventory describes all data reported to the Department of Education, with the exception of personnel and administrative data. The ED Data Inventory includes descriptive information about each data collection, along with information on the specific data elements in individual collections.
  • Census DataFerrett: DataFerrett is a data analysis and extraction tool to customize federal, state, and local data. Using DataFerrett, you can develop an unlimited array of customized spreadsheets, graphs, and maps that are as versatile and complex as your usage demands without any additional software.
  • HHS Refugee Health Network: RHIN provides a searchable database to find various health and refugee resources. Many of its pages are translated into multiple languages, and there is information available for many emerging populations of new and less familiar refugee group.
  • HHS Asian American Health Portal: Sponsored by the National Library of Medicine on Asian American Health, HHS Asian American Health Portal is designed to increase public awareness of AAPI health concerns. Links are provided to an assortment of documents, websites, databases, and other in-language resources.


Data Disaggregation Resources