AAPI Data|Momentive poll: American experiences with discrimination 2022

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AAPI Data|Momentive poll: American experiences with discrimination 2022

See what our research uncovered about the Asian American and Pacific Islander community’s experiences with discrimination.

Victoria Rodriguez

March 24, 2022 | 7 min read

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Key Findings:

  • Not all Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) individuals identify as people of color—those who do are more likely to say that they've experienced discrimination or a hate crime, and are more aware of hate crimes against their community.
  • Among the AAPI people we surveyed in early 2022, hate crime experiences have decreased since last year. However, concern about being a victim is higher than other communities of color.
  • AAPI people show signs of increasing trust in the justice system but continue to be more wary than Americans overall about reporting hate crimes, due to fear of retaliation and unwanted attention. 
  • Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander respondents report a decline in unfair treatment from the previous year, but still experience it at a much higher rate compared to their Asian or Asian American counterparts.
  • When it comes to how they're treated at work, AAPI people are most likely to say that their educational background and age are the most relevant aspects of their identity.

Not all AAPI individuals identify as people of color—those who do are more likely to say they've experienced discrimination or a hate crime, and are more aware of hate crimes against their community.

Two-thirds (63%) of AAPI adults consider themselves a person of color, compared with 87% of Blacks, 48% of Hispanics, 49% of Native or American Indians, and 6% of whites.   

  • U.S.-born South Asians (84%) are most likely of all AAPI adults to consider themselves a person of color. 
  • U.S.-born AAPI men (59%) are least likely to consider themselves a person of color, while U.S.-born AAPI women (73%) are more likely to say they are a person of color. 

Additionally, AAPI who identify as people of color are more likely to say they’ve been treated unfairly because of their race (69% vs 53%). They're also more aware of hate crimes against their community (58% vs 39%).

Among the AAPI people we surveyed, hate crime experiences have decreased since last year. However, concern about being a victim is higher than other communities of color.

Anti-Asian hate crimes continue to be a serious problem across the U.S., and a recent national report from Stop AAPI Hate found that there were more than 10,900 incidents of violence and verbal abuse reported between March 2020 and December 2021. The general public has taken notice, with nearly half (48%) saying that they believe that anti-AAPI hate crimes have increased since last year, higher than what the general public believes for the Black (29%) or Hispanic (20%) communities. Among the AAPI people we surveyed, 1 in 4 (28%) say they’ve been a victim of a hate crime in 2022, which is lower than last year, when 38% said they'd been a victim of a hate crime by March 2021.

While all racial groups we surveyed have experienced hate crimes in early 2022 at similar rates (28% of Hispanics, 27% of Blacks, 28% of AAPI, and 22% of whites say they’ve been a victim of a hate crime this year), AAPI respondents showed more uncertainty about whether they’ve been a victim of a hate crime; 9% are unsure if they've been a victim, compared to 5% of Hispanics, 4% of whites, and 3% of Blacks.

A large majority (83%) of AAPI individuals say they are worried about a future increase in hate crimes against their community, on par with 82% of Blacks who say the same, but significantly higher than concern among Hispanics (74%), Native American/American Indians (65%), and whites (59%). Within the AAPI community, women are more concerned than men (85% vs 80%). Southeast Asians are the most concerned community: 87% of Southeast Asians say they are worried about a future increase in hate crimes, compared with 83% of East Asians, 82% of Pacific Islanders, and 79% of South Asians.

The fear of hate crimes extends to parents concerned about their children. Nearly all (83%) AAPI parents say they are concerned that their child might be bullied due to their race/ethnicity, including 42% who say they are very concerned. This is the highest level of concern among all ethnic groups (73% of Blacks, 65% of Hispanics, and 39% of whites are concerned their children might be bullied due to their race/ethnicity).

AAPI people show signs of increasing trust in the justice system but continue to be more wary than Americans overall about reporting hate crimes, due to fear of retaliation and unwanted attention 

Two-thirds (68%) of the AAPI people we surveyed are comfortable reporting hate crimes to authorities, including 30% who are “very comfortable.” This is slightly up from 2021, when 64% of AAPI reported they are comfortable reporting hate crimes. However, it still remains lower than the 78% of the overall U.S. population who said they are comfortable reporting a hate crime, including 55% who are "very comfortable." It's also the lowest among racial groups, with 81% of whites, 75% of Hispanics/Latinos, 73% of Blacks, 70% of Native Americans saying they're comfortable reporting a hate crime.

  • 69% of AAPI said they would be reluctant to report a hate crime for fear it would lead to unwanted attention to themselves or their families, up slightly from 2021 (63%), and higher than Americans overall (46%).
  • 62% of AAPI respondents are concerned that reporting a hate crime would lead to another attack (compared to 39% of Americans overall), on par with 2021 (61% AAPI and 41% Americans overall).
  • 57% of AAPI respondents are confident that justice will be served if reported, up from 53% in 2021 (and higher than overall (53%).

Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander respondents report a decline in unfair treatment from the previous year, but still experience it at much higher rates compared to their Asian or Asian American counterparts

AAPI individuals who have experienced unfair treatment cite "race or ethnicity" as the top reason. And within the AAPI community, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders experienced nearly every instance of unfair treatment or hate crimes at a higher rate:

  • 42% said they've been insulted or called names (vs. 34% of Asians or Asian Americans), lower than in 2021 (46% and 39% respectively)
  • 40% have received poorer service at restaurants or stores (vs. 31% of Asians or Asian Americans), down from 45% in 2021
  • 33% had people act afraid of them (vs. 18% of Asians or Asians Americans), down from 38% from 2021
  • 38% have not been hired to a job for unfair reasons (vs. 25% of Asians or Asian Americans), on par with 2021 (33% of Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders and 27% of Asians or Asian Americans)
  • 31% have been unfairly fired from a job (vs. 17% of Asians or Asian Americans), on par with 30% in 2021
  • 26% have moved to a neighborhood and had neighbors make life difficult (vs. 18% of Asians or Asian Americans), down from 30% in 2021
  • 24% have been unfairly prevented from moving to a neighborhood (vs. 13% of Asians or Asian Americans), nearly identical to 2021 (25%)
  • 28% have been unfairly stopped, searched, questioned, physically threatened/abused by police (vs. 17% of Asians or Asian Americans), on par with 2021 (32%)
  • 27% have been discouraged by a teacher to continue education (vs. 16% of Asians or Asian Americans), down from 32% in 2021
  • 18% say their property has been defaced with graffiti or vandalized—the highest of all ethnic groups (16% of Native American or American Indians, 12% of Blacks, 9% of Hispanics, 8% of whites, 8% of Asians). 

When it comes to how they're treated at work, AAPI people were most likely to say that their educational background and age are the most relevant aspects of their identity

Among employed U.S. adults, AAPI workers were most likely to say that educational attainment (71% of AAPI, 62% of Blacks, 53% of Hispanics, 51% of Native Americans, 48% of whites) and age (57% of AAPI, 51% of Blacks, 41% of Hispanics, 39% of Native Americans, 32% of whites) are the most relevant aspects of their identity when it comes to how they're treated at work. 

  • AAPI people are among the most likely to say race is a relevant aspect of their identity at work (58% of Blacks, 57% of AAPI, 41% of Hispanics, 39% of Native Americans, 20% of whites). 
  • Southeast Asians were most likely to say their race (63% of SE Asians, 57% of East Asians, 51% of South Asians) and gender (55% of SE Asians, 45% of East Asians, 43% of South Asians) are relevant.

AAPI individuals are most likely of all races to consider their age, educational background, gender identification, race, and sexual orientation relevant within their circle of friends:

  • 67% of AAPI, 58% of Blacks, 47% of Hispanics, 42% of Native Americans, 39% of whites say age is relevant.
  • 66% of AAPI, 60% of Blacks, 46% of Hispanics, 37% of Native Americans, 21% of whites say race is relevant.
  • AAPI men (54%) and women (62%) born in the U.S. are less likely to say this is relevant than AAPI men (66%) and women (71%) born in another country.
  • 64% of AAPI, 62% of Blacks, 47% of Hispanics, 45% of Native Americans, 35% of white say educational attainment is relevant.
  • South Asians (71%) are more likely to say this is relevant than East asians (60%) or SE Asians (65%).
  • AAPI men (55%) and women (54%) born in the U.S. are less likely to say this is relevant than AAPI men (69%) and women (65%) born in another country.
  • 56% of AAPI, 53% of Blacks, 42% of Hispanics, 34% of Native Americans, 28% of whites say gender identification is relevant.
  • 51% of AAPI, 48% of Blacks, 37% of Hispanics, 33% of Native Americans, 26% of whites say sexual orientation is relevant.

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