Almost a quarter of Sacramento residents identify as members of the Asian American or Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander community. Who are they, and how are they faring in our city?

On Thursday, March 28, Sacramento State ethnic studies Professor Timothy P. Fong will present key findings from a comprehensive report that examines recent population trends, social and economic levels, health care coverage, and other characteristics among various AANHPI groups in the city.

The event begins at 8 a.m. at Sac State Downtown, 304 S St.

The information, based upon U.S. Census Bureau community survey data from 2011 to 2015, helps paint a demographic, social and economic picture of the diverse, multi-ethnic AANHPI population. The population includes people born in the United States as well as immigrants and refugees from dozens of other countries.

“These communities are unique in terms of the needs and characteristics of their populations,” said Shannon Williams, executive director of Sac State’s Institute for Social Research. “It’s important for policymakers and the public to understand that even though this group is often reported out as one population, there are in fact more than 20 unique histories and demographics within the group.”

The report highlights the importance of participation in the upcoming 2020 U.S. Census, which reflects how our country is changing and ensures that each community receives the correct number of representatives in government.

“It’s the bedrock of our democracy to know not only how many residents live in our city, but also about the broad outlines of their lives,” Williams said. “When we compare the demographics of different groups of people, we can see how our public infrastructure is working – or leaving certain groups behind.”

In addition to outlining the survey findings, speakers at the downtown campus event will present plans for reaching out to local AANHPI populations in advance of the census. Several AANHPI leaders will be on hand to discuss census strategies.

“There is a push to count everyone in Census 2020, to make sure that data is collected correctly and accurately,” said Fong, who directed the AANHPI survey. “It’s important because census data is used to set political districts, and to support funding for needed services.”

The survey is the result of a collaborative effort by University faculty, graduate and undergraduate students, the ISR and the Office of Creative Services.

Among the survey’s findings:

  • From 2011 through 2015, more than 102,000 Asian Americans were Sacramento residents. About 12,000 identified as Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander.
  • The rate of growth in the AANHPI population was far greater than that of the overall population of Sacramento.
  • About 22 percent of Asian Americans received bachelor’s degrees during the period studied, compared to 19 percent for the overall population and 25 percent for whites.
  • About 8 percent of Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders earned bachelor’s degrees.
  • The median household income for Asian Americans and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders is slightly higher than all other households in Sacramento, but less that that of non-Hispanic white households. – Cynthia Hubert