Poll: At least one-fourth of Asian Americans report workplace, housing discrimination

By Newsroom America Staff at 6 Dec 12:13

(Newsroom America) -- A quarter or more of Asian Americans report personally experiencing anti-Asian discrimination in employment and when seeking housing

A quarter or more of Asian Americans report being personally discriminated against because they are Asian when it comes to applying for jobs (27%), being paid equally or considered for promotion (25%), or when trying to rent a room or apartment or buy a house (25%).

Additionally, nearly one in five Asian Americans report being discriminated against because they are Asian when applying to or while attending college (19%) or when interacting with police (18%).

"Our poll shows that Asian American families have the highest average income among the groups we've surveyed, and yet the poll still finds that Asian Americans experience persistent discrimination in housing, jobs, and at college. Over the course of our series, we are seeing again and again that income is not a shield from discrimination," says Robert Blendon, Richard L. Menschel Professor of Health Policy and Political Analysis at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, who co-directed the survey.

Indian Americans much more likely than Chinese Americans to report unfair police treatment

People were also asked whether they believe they or a family member had experienced unfair treatment by the police or by the court system because they are Asian. 12% of Asian Americans say that they or a family member have been unfairly stopped or treated by the police because they are Asian. Indian Americans are significantly more likely (17%) than Chinese Americans (2%) to say they or a family member have been unfairly stopped or treated by the police because they are Asian.

Indian Americans are also more likely (33%) than both Chinese Americans (16%) and Southeast Asian Americans (11%) to say they live in a predominantly upper income area.

About a third of Asian Americans have experienced slurs or insensitive comments about their race or ethnicity

35% of Asian Americans report personally experiencing people making insensitive or offensive comments or negative assumptions about their race or ethnicity. Similarly, 32% report personally experiencing slurs because of their race or ethnicity.

Non-immigrant Asian Americans significantly more likely to report multiple forms of anti-Asian discrimination

People were asked whether they believe they or a family member had experienced sexual harassment, threats or non-sexual harassment, or violence, specifically because they are Asian. 21% of all Asian Americans say that they or a family member have been threatened or non-sexually harassed because they are Asian. Another 10% say that they or a family member have experienced violence, and 8% say they have experienced sexual harassment because they are Asian.

Non-immigrant Asian Americans are significantly more likely than immigrant Asian Americans to say they have experienced these forms of discrimination. For example, non-immigrant Asian Americans are four times more likely (16%) than immigrant Asian Americans (4%) to report that they or a family member have experienced sexual harassment because they are Asian.

(Participants were not asked about their citizenship status. They were asked only whether they were born in the U.S., Puerto Rico, or in another country. This report refers to those born in the U.S. and Puerto Rico as non-immigrant Asian Americans, and to those born in another country as immigrant Asian Americans.)

Additionally, non-immigrant Asian Americans are more than three times as likely (20%) as immigrant Asian Americans (6%) to say they have experienced violence because they are Asian, and more than twice as likely to say they have been threatened or non-sexually harassed because they are Asian (36% non-immigrant, 15% immigrant) (Chart 4).

Nearly one in five low-income Asian Americans avoid medical care due to concern they will be discriminated against because they are Asian

13% of all Asian Americans say they have been personally discriminated against because they are Asian when going to a doctor or health clinic. Additionally, nearly one in ten (9%) Asian Americans say they have avoided going to a doctor or seeking health care out of concern that they would be discriminated against or treated poorly because they are Asian.

Low income Asian Americans (those earning less than $25,000 per year) are nearly four times more likely than high income Asian Americans (those earning $75,000 or more per year) to report avoiding medical care due to concern for discrimination: 19% of low income Asian Americans report this behavior, compared to only 5% of high income Asian Americans.

Survey Background

The survey was conducted January 26-April 9, 2017, among a nationally representative, probability-based telephone (cell and landline) sample of 3,453 adults age 18 or older. The survey included nationally representative samples of African Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans, Native Americans, as well as white Americans; men and women, and LGBTQ adults. This report presents the sample of 500 Asian American U.S. adults.

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