Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Can you show me census data on Pacific Islander Underrepresentation?

Q. Can you show me data from the U.S. Census on Pacific Islander underrepresentation in higher education?

A. Yes. For over two decades, the U.S. Census has collected and published data reflecting the significant underrepresentation of Pacific Islander Americans among college graduates.

As we've mentioned before, recent Census data shows that compared to the national average, Pacific Islanders are 50 percent less likely to graduate with a bachelors degree, and 60 percent less likely to graduate with an advanced degree.

Here are links to over two decades of data on Pacific Islander underrepresentation. We've included year-by-year figures for the past five years, then decade-by-decade data for the past twenty years. The links take you to larger reports or data features, which include Pacific Islander graduation rates along with other information.

The Past 5 Years
Each year, the U.S. Census publishes data ahead of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. In observance of federal policy, it shows information for both Pacific Islanders and Asians, recognizing each as a distinct group. Here are the releases from the last five years, each of which shows Pacific Islander college graduation rates compared to the national average.
10+ Years
Here is a Census 2000 data brief on educational attainment in the United States. Along with the graduation rates of other racial groups, you can see Pacific Islander representation, and compare that to the national average: LINK

20+ Years
In the 1990s, as part of the "We the People" series, the Census Bureau published a paper on Pacific Islander Americans using data from the 1990 Census. There's a lot of information here about Pacific Islanders, including college graduation rates (page 4): LINK

Here's a chart to visually display 20-plus-years of U.S. Census data on Pacific Islander underrepresentation:

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