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AAPI Nexus: Special Issue on AAPIs 2040

Abstracts for “Special Issue on AAPIs 2040”
Volume 14, Number 1, Spring 2016

The Future of Pacific Islander America in 2040

By Paul Ong, Elena Ong, and Jonathan Ong

Abstract: This resource paper analyzes the growth of the Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander (NHOPI) population over the next quarter century based on projections from the U.S. Census Bureau and supplementary estimates by the authors. Overall, this population will increase from about 1.5 million in 2015 to nearly 2.3 million in 2040, about three times greater than the increase for the total U.S. population. Most NHOPIs are indigenous, but immigrants comprise about a fifth of the population. This group is relatively young, but median age will increase over time. Youth comprised about a third of the population in 2015 and over a quarter in 2014. The elderly share will nearly double to about one in eight by 2040.  NHOPIs are more likely to be multiracial than any other racial group, and NHOPIs of mixed-race will comprise over half the population a quarter century from now.

The Future of Asian America in 2040

By Jonathan Ong, Paul Ong, and Elena Ong

Abstract: This Resource Paper analyzes the growth of the Asian American (AA) population over the next quarter century based on projections from the U.S. Census Bureau and supplementary estimates by the authors. The number of Asian Americans will increase from 20.5 million in 2015 to 35.7 million in 2040, making them the fastest-growing racial population in the nation. Like the nation as a whole, the AA population will age over the next quarter century, with youth declining from a quarter to a little more than a fifth of the AA population and the elderly increasing from a tenth to about a sixth. Immigrants will continue to be a majority of Asian Americans, but their share will decline from two-thirds to one half. After 2040, U.S.-born AAs (those who are Asian alone and from mixed-race backgrounds) will comprise a majority of the population. Another significant change will be the growth of multiracial Asian Americans, increasing from a tenth of the population 1990 to a sixth in 2040.

Asian American Pacific Islander Economic Justice

By Paul M. Ong

Abstract: This essay examines economic inequality and poverty among Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) and their participation in safety-net programs. Income and wealth disparities have increased dramatically over the last few decades, reaching levels not seen since the 1920s. One of the consequences has been an inability to ameliorate poverty, particularly among children. While Asian Americans have been depicted as outperforming all other racial groups, they have not surpassed non-Hispanic whites after accounting for regional differences in the cost of living. Moreover, a relatively large proportion of AAPIs is at the bottom end of the economic ladder. Many impoverished AAPIs rely on antipoverty programs to survive, but most still struggle because of a frayed safety net. Most experts believe that inequality will persist or worsen; consequently, it is likely that the absolute number of poor AAPIs will grow over the next quarter century. Addressing the problems of societal inequality and AAPI poverty will require political action to rectify underlying structural and institutional flaws, and a renewed commitment to ensuring all have a decent standard of living.

No Data, No Justice: Moving beyond the Model Minority Myth in K–12 Education

By Rita Pin Ahrens and Souvan Lee

Abstract: Due to the “model minority” myth, Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) students are often left out of the national discourse on educational equity. As a result, obtaining more data on AAPI students (i.e., data disaggregation) has become the primary civil rights issue in education for AAPIs. This paper examines challenges facing AAPIs in elementary and secondary public schools, passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act, and progress made to disaggregate data on AAPI students. The authors highlight additional opportunities and strategies for advocates at the local and national level to improve educational outcomes for all AAPI students by 2040.

Educational Opportunity and the Missing Minority in Higher Education: Changing the National Narrative of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders by 2040

By Leilani Matasaua Pimentel and Neil Horikoshi

Abstract: For nearly half a century, the model minority myth has dominated perceptions of Asian American college students and masked educational disparities among the nearly fifty ethnic groups that comprise the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities. This essay challenges the model minority narrative by presenting the narrative of the missing minority—outlining how this alternative narrative was influenced by the creation of federal AAPI-serving institution legislation in 2008. The authors explore Asian American Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institution recognition, how it has provided a framework to further support AAPI higher education outcomes, and what factors will affect the national narrative in 2040.

Asian American Workers and Unions: Current and Future Opportunities for Organizing Asian American and Pacific Islander Workers

By Johanna Hester, Kim Geron, Tracy Lai, and Paul M. Ong

Abstract: The purpose of this article is to explore the current and future potential for engaging Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) in the labor movement by 2040. Because of the limitations of the data and the scope of the projections, we initially analyze Asian American participation in the labor market, so we can later discuss our vision and trajectory for engaging AAPI workers in the labor movement by 2040.

Aging in America: Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in 2040

By Heather Chun, Eun Jeong Lee, Wesley Lum, and Ashley Muraoka-Mamaclay

Abstract: Throughout the United States ten thousand people turn sixty-five years old every day (AARP, 2015a). By 2040, one in five U.S. residents will be sixty-five years or older, outnumbering children fifteen and younger for the first time in our nation’s history (AARP, 2015a; Congressional Budget Office, 2013; U.S. Census Bureau, 2014). Between 2015 and 2040, Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) older adults are the fastest-growing aging group. There are four strategies to strengthen the economic and health security of AAPI older adults nationwide by 2040: (1) disaggregate data to understand variations between AAPI subpopulations; (2) provide accessible services that are culturally and linguistically appropriate; (3) adapt mainstream solutions for financial security; and (4) innovate long-term services and support.

Forging a Path Toward Health Equity in 2040

By Priscilla Huang, Kathy Ko Chin, Jeffrey B. Caballero, DJ Ida, and Myron Dean Quon

Abstract: Dramatic shifts in the demographic makeup of the U.S. population in 2040 will pose new challenges and opportunities for policy makers, researchers, and community members working to address health and health care inequities. Traditional approaches utilizing a health disparities framework may not be enough to address the health needs of an increasingly diverse and multiracial population of Asian Americans and Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders (NHPIs). This article provides an overview of the current and projected health and health care needs of Asian Americans and NHPIs in 2040, and proposes new policy solutions and frameworks for addressing these complex needs.

Asian American Pacific Islander Environmental Leadership for 2040

By Charles Lee

Abstract: Climate change is an unprecedented issue that shapes the era in in which we now live. Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) have a stake in environmental justice because AAPIs are disproportionately impacted by climate change. This essay examines how the climate crisis affects AAPIs, and provides examples of the leadership AAPIs have demonstrated to address climate and social equity concerns. These leadership lessons are relevant to the leadership role that AAPIs can play now and in the future, for 2040 and beyond.

Reimagining Immigration for a New Generation

By Erin Oshiro

Abstract: Do Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) have a stake in the immigration reform discussion? What types of immigration laws and policies would best serve our community’s diverse interests? This article first looks at how AAPIs continue to be impacted by federal immigration laws. Second, it identifies specific immigration policies that need reform and suggests some potential creative policy solutions. Finally, it offers ideas for how—and why—AAPIs can continue to engage in the fight for immigration reform.

From Citizens to Elected Representatives: The Political Trajectory of Asian American Pacific Islanders by 2040

By Christine Chen, James S. Lai, Karthick Ramakrishnan, and Alton Wang

Abstract: The political power of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) has increased steadily in the United States. By 2040, one in ten Americans will be AAPI, and the number of Asian Americans registered to vote will have doubled (Ong, Ong and Ong, 2015). This section examines the growing AAPI electorate and projects a trajectory for AAPI civic engagement and political participation from now until 2040.  By looking at trends and projections for citizenship, voter registration, voter turnout, elected officials, and political infrastructure, the authors illustrate that AAPI political empowerment will have even a greater influence on the future of American politics.