Sunday, March 21, 2010

Recently Released Census Data on Pacific Islander Americans

Earlier this month, the U.S. Census published fresh data on Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Americans. You can check out the whole thing for yourself, but here are a few things that jumped out for me:

  • 4-Year-College Graduation Rates: Pacific Islanders remain vastly less likely to receive a college diploma. Statistics did not change from the previous year, when 15 percent of Pacific Islanders earned bachelor's degrees, compared to 28 percent of the total U.S. population. That leaves Pacific Islander roughly 46 percent less likely to graduate with a bachelor's degree.
  • Advanced Degrees: The good news here is that the percentage of Pacific Islanders earning advanced degrees has increased from 4 percent to 5 percent of the Pacific Islander population. The bad news - Pacific Islanders are still only half-as-likely to receive an advanced degree as the general U.S. population, leaving them vastly underrepresented in higher education at the graduate level.
  • U.S. Population: Estimates for the total population of Pacific Islanders in the 50 States grew from 1 million last year to 1.1 million. Pacific Islanders were the second-fastest growing racial group for the most recent year counted.
  • Poverty: The Census found more Pacific Islander Americans living in poverty than the last year counted - the number jumped from 15.7 percent to 16.3 percent.

*Warning on these stats: Aside from the total population count, the Census data was limited to individuals who identified only as "Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander." Individuals who identified as being of more than one race (for example, White and Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander") were not included in these stats. I'd love to have those numbers as well, but for now, this is it.

Here's a link to the full release: LINK. Asians are on the top, followed by Pacific Islanders.

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