Asian American Communities

This article is one of a series I have posted on WordPress, “Connecting with Diverse Communities.”

Pew Research Center noted an important fact about Asian Americans in the United States (2017):

“Looking forward, Asians are projected to become the largest immigrant group in the country, surpassing Hispanics in 2055. In 50 years, Asians will make up 38% of all U.S. immigrants, while Hispanics will make up 31% of the nation’s immigrant population.”

An important precaution is given by Pew Research against approaching Asian Americans as one monolithic group. Similar to other ethnic groups, “Asian Americans trace their roots to any of dozens of countries in the Far East, Southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent. Each country of origin subgroup has its own unique history, culture, language, religious beliefs, economic and demographic traits, social and political values, and pathways into America.”

Asian Americans have strong family values and they believe in the rewards of hard work. Their religious affiliations vary widely. Their educational attainment is higher than the overall U.S. population. Asian Americans are more satisfied than the general public with their financial situations and standard of living.

Pew Research also notes that about half of Asians ages 25 and older (51%) have a bachelor’s degree or more, compared with 30% of all Americans this age. These shares vary widely by Asian origin group. Indians have the highest level of educational attainment among Asian Americans, with 72% holding a bachelor’s degree or more in 2015. A majority of Sri Lankan (57%), Mongolian (59%) and Malaysian (60%) adults 25 and older have a bachelor’s degree or more. But lower shares of adults have a bachelor’s degree or more for Cambodians (18%), Hmong (17%), Laotians (16%) and Bhutanese (9%).

Asian Americans tend to favor marriage equality than do not. Overall, they tend to affiliate politically more with the Democratic party than the Republican.

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In as 2012 discussion by Pew Research about “Homeownership, Career Success, Altruism and Leisure,” it is noted:

“When it comes to helping others in need, 28% of Asian Americans say this is one of the most important things in their lives. An additional 44% say this is very important to them but not the most important thing, and 26% say this is somewhat important. Only 2% say this is not important to them. Compared with the general public, Asian Americans are somewhat more likely to place a high priority on helping others in need (20% of all American adults say this is one of the most important things in their lives).”

Nonprofit organizations need to be paying attention to the rise of Asian American communities in the United States, and to their unique characteristics. By taking the time to understand the unique perspective of Asian Americans, the philanthropic sector could make significant headway in terms of seeking and obtaining donations.

Locally in Austin, Texas, you might enjoy reading the website of the Asian Chamber of Commerce. “Asians in Austin are the fastest growing demographic group, doubling roughly every 12 years. Asian Americans comprise 8% of the City of Austin’s population and this ranking puts Austin 9th in the country.”

Asian American have long been a influential citizens in Texas and across the nation, but we need to better understand and appreciate them, and integrate them more fully into community philanthropy and in solving some of our region’s unique challenges.

One resource devoted specifically to this purpose in Central Texas is The New Philanthropists, which is creating a “leadership pipeline for a diverse and inclusive Austin.”

Additional Resources

This list of links is general in nature. You will find many more by searching online.

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You might also enjoy:

“Connecting With Diverse Communities” (first in this series with an emphasis on Hispanic populations)

“Connecting – African American Communities” 

“Connecting – Hispanic Communities”

For a few personal reflections on diversity see my post, “Giving Thanks for Diversity.”

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