Asian Americans lean left, says new University of California report
• Most prefer an activist government that provides more services than a smaller one with fewer services
• A majority backs pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants
• Nearly two-thirds consider themselves environmentalists
RIVERSIDE, California — Asian Americans lean to the left on current divisive issues in the United States, the first of a series of think tank studies shows.
Among the findings of a series of reports — “The State of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders” — done jointly by the Center for American Progress and AAPI Data at the University of California, Riverside:
• 55 percent of Asian Americans prefer an activist government that provides more services than a smaller government that provides fewer services.
• Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are much more likely to support than oppose tax increases on high earners as a way to reduce the federal deficit.
• Asian Americans are among the most open to diversity when compared to other racial groups.
The series of reports on the state of the Asian American and Pacific Islanders communities, aims to be the most comprehensive research and analysis of its kind for the fastest growing population in the United States. Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are quickly reaching the critical mass needed to be politically relevant.
People of color will be in the majority in the United States by mid-century, and Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, or AAPI, are a significant factor in the nation’s changing demographics.
The reports examine how the growth of Asian American and Pacific Islanders will affect a variety of key policy areas, from immigration and education to health care and the environment.
Other key findings of the report series—by University of California, Riverside, political science Professor Karthick Ramakrishnan and CAP Policy Analyst Farah Z. Ahmad — include:
• The fastest-growing states for Asian Americans are Nevada, Arizona, North Dakota, North Carolina and Georgia, where the populations more than doubled between 2000 and 2012.
• For Pacific Islanders, the states with the fastest growth are Arkansas, Alaska, Nevada, and Utah.
• 69 percent of Asian Americans consider themselves environmentalists, about 30 percentage points higher than the national average.
• 58 percent of Asian Americans support a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
• K-12 AAPI enrollment from 1979 to 2009 grew fourfold and is expected to grow another 31 percent by 2019—just short of the growth rate of Latinos at 36 percent.
AAPI Data analyzes information from the “Census, American Community Survey” and academic researchers and organizations, and presents it in user-friendly formats, primarily to make such research more accessible and centrally available.
Ramakrishnan explained that he saw the need for such a resource a few years ago, soon after getting involved with the National Asian American Survey.
Anil Deolalikar, dean of the UC Riverside School of Public Policy said the report “is exactly the kind of research that the School of Public Policy will conduct and promote – evidence-based, analytically rigorous research that informs and shapes public policies at all levels of government.”
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