Most Asian Americans face racial discrimination, a new study reveals
LOS ANGELES – Almost six in 10 Asian Americans have experienced racial discrimination, according to a Pew Research Center survey released today.
The survey shows 58 percent of Asian Americans have faced discrimination because of their race or ethnicity. Fifty-three percent say they experience racial discrimination from time to time and 5 percent say they experience it regularly.
Asian Americans’ day-to-day encounters with discrimination were not just single events, but often came in several overlapping forms, the report said.
Most of those surveyed (63%) say that too little attention is paid to racial discrimination against Asian Americans.
Stereotypes of Asians in the US as foreigners and a model minority drive discrimination, the report said.
The survey was conducted from July 5, 2022, to Jan. 27, 2023. The survey asked 7,006 Asian adults about personal experiences with 17 different discrimination incidents.
The sample group included Chinese, Filipino, Korean, Japanese, Indian and Vietnamese Americans. Those are the six largest ethnic groups among Asian Americans.
The survey also asked about specific incidents of discrimination.
Here are some of the key findings:
- 78 percent of Asians living in the US have been treated as a foreigner in some way, even if they were born in the United States. In day-to-day encounters, strangers have told them to go back to their home country, assumed they can’t speak English, criticized them for speaking a language other than English or mispronounced their name.
- 63 percent have experienced incidents where people assume they are a “model minority.” Strangers have assumed they are good at math and science or not a creative thinker. The model minority stereotype generalizes Asians in the US as intelligent, well-off and only able to excel in technical fields. More than half (55%) say they have not heard of the term “model minority.”
- 37 percent say strangers have called them offensive names in day-to-day encounters. US-born Asians are nearly twice as likely as Asian immigrants to say this has happened to them (57% vs. 30%).
- 20 percent say they have been held back at a security checkpoint for a secondary screening because of their race or ethnicity. Across regional origin groups, South Asians (35 %) are the most likely to have this experience.
Additional new findings about Asian Americans’ experiences with discrimination, including by ethnicity and other demographic factors are available here.