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Half of Asian Americans feel unsafe in the US, annual survey finds

An annual survey digs into how Asian Americans feel about living in the U.S., and the causes of stereotypes and discrimination.
Half of Asian Americans feel unsafe in the US, annual survey finds
Posted at 5:12 PM, May 03, 2023

An annual survey from the Asian American Foundation shows the effects of persistent stereotypes against Asian Americans in the U.S.

The survey found 1 in 2 Asian Americans say they feel unsafe in the U.S. Nearly four out of five, or close to 80%, say they don't have feelings of belonging or being accepted. Young Asian Americans and female Asian Americans are most likely to experience that alienation.

The most common causes of these feelings, respondents said, were discrimination directly due to one's race, and a lack of representation in leadership.

SEE MORE: Being Asian Pacific Islander in America: Diversity within diversity

While 83% of those who responded saw China as a national security threat, 79% of respondents didn't think people of Chinese descent living in America posed a threat to America.

Geopolitics factor into other widely-held beliefs, too.

"It is startling to see that more than one in four of Americans still think Asian Americans are more loyal to their perceived country of origin than to the U.S.," said Norman Chen, CEO of the Asian American Foundation. "These unfortunate and enduring misperceptions erode our sense of belonging and safety as AAPIs."

65% of respondents said Asian Americans were "somewhat or highly inaccurately" portrayed in roles on film and television.

Separate reporting from Nielsen digs further into that cultural issue: It found Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander audiences felt they had some of the worst representation in all of film and television.

SEE MORE: Asian Americans feel underrepresented in entertainment, report finds

The Asian American Foundation's survey collected answers from 5,235 respondents in the U.S., all of them older than 16.

The group started tracking sentiment with this survey in 2021, following trends of increased violence against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. At the time the survey became one of the largest national measurements of perception of Asian Americans.

The results help the foundation promote education and counter bias in schools, in media and across U.S. culture.


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