White House Initiative, UC Riverside Partner to Improve Asian American, Pacific Islander Data

Nationwide challenge encourages novel approaches to understand the fastest-growing population group

map showing U.S. counties with highest AAPI populations

The increasing number of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders is reflected in this map showing U.S. counties with the largest AAPI populations. Graphic courtesy of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are the fastest-growing and most diverse racial groups in the country. Between 2000 and 2010, their populations grew by 46 percent and 40 percent, respectively, compared to 10 percent for the overall population, and these growth trends have continued since 2010. Despite the increasing importance of AAPIs, there is a significant gap in what is known about these communities, with problems ranging from invisibility to mistaken assumptions that all Asian Americans are self-sufficient, well-educated, and upwardly mobile.

Hoping to correct that gap is a data challenge announced today by the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and AAPIData.com, a research project of the University of California, Riverside. ELEVATE: AAPI Data Challenge seeks to engage the public in developing novel approaches to the interpretation of data on AAPIs, particularly data that is broken out by national origin, such as Cambodian, Korean, or Native Hawaiian.

Everyone – from high school students and data hobbyists to government, nonprofit and corporate analysts – is invited to participate in this pioneering effort. Submissions may include infographics, web applications, data tables, blog posts, animations, videos, and other creative mediums. The deadline for submissions is Sept. 5.

The challenge culminates in October 2016 with a meeting of selected applicants in Washington, D.C. Selected submissions will be highlighted on websites of the White House Initiative on AAPIs and AAPIData.com. Visit bit.ly/ElevateAAPI for details about how to participate in the data challenge.

Karthick Ramakrishnan, professor and associate dean of UC Riverside’s School of Public Policy explained that ELEVATE: AAPI Data Challenge was created to encourage a new generation of researchers, writers, and artists to develop new ways of visualizing and interpreting data about the AAPI population.

“We have seen big improvements in data on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the last decade,” Ramakrishnan said. “We hope to inspire people to take advantage of this new data, not just for academic research but also for news reporting, storytelling, and helping to inform public policy.”

“Data is critical for understanding the needs of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community, which is incredibly diverse and rapidly growing,” said Doua Thor, executive director of WHIAAPI. “We’re excited to launch this AAPI data challenge to elevate and build upon the story of AAPIs and to inspire a new generation of researchers and content creators.”

AAPIData.com was created in 2013 by Karthick Ramakrishnan, associate dean of the UC Riverside School of Public Policy. The project makes demographic data and policy research on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders more accessible to journalists and policymakers.

President Obama re-established the White House Initiative on AAPIs through an executive order in 2009, seeking to improve the quality of life for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders across the nation through increased access to and participation in federal programs. An important part of that effort has been promoting evidence-based research, data collection and analysis, with improvements such as increased disaggregation of federal data by detailed origin and the 2014 launch of data.gov/AAPI, which provides access to more than 1,000 datasets on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

The AAPI population numbers more than 21 million today and is projected to double by 2050. Unlike the popular stereotype of this group as the “model minority,” there is great diversity in income and poverty, education, immigration and refugee experiences, language spoken at home, English proficiency, unemployment rates, and vulnerability to various diseases.

Media Contact


Tel: (951) 827-7847
E-mail: bettye.miller@ucr.edu
Twitter: bettyemiller

Additional Contacts

Karthick Ramakrishnan
Tel: (818) 305-4865
E-mail: karthick@ucr.edu

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