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The changing face of Asian Pacific America revealed in study.

The explosive growth of the Asian Pacific American population requires new models in public policy that acknowledge the multicultural nature of U.S. society, concludes the first comprehensive examination to date of the status of America's fast growing and diverse population group.

The report, released last week by the Asian Pacific American Public Policy Institute and the UCLA Asian American Studies Center, forecasts a near tripling of the population by the year 2020 and examines the profound and far-reaching implications of these demographic changes for national policy.

Also revealed is a side of Asian Pacific America that is often ignored--a large percentage of the population if facing poverty, joblessness and underemployment and lace of access to needed social services. The report suggests that policy makers must come to grips with the problem or risk having several generations of Asian Pacifics locked out of mainstream America.

Underlying the report's policy recommendations are a range of population forecasts. The projections predict that:

* Total population for all Asian Pacific ethnic groups will increase from 7.3 million in 1990 to an estimated 20.2 million, or 8 percent of the U.S. population by the year 2020. This diverse population comprises nearly 30 major ethnic groups, including Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, Filipinos, Southeast Asians, Asian Indians and Pacific Islanders;

* The number of working-age Asian Pacifics will triple to 10 million over the next three decades; and

* California's Asian Pacific American population will increase from 2.85 million in 1990 to as much as 8.5 million, or 20 percent of the state's population, by 2020. For the mid-Atlantic states (New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania), the population will increase from 1.1 million to 3.4 million.

In contrast to widely held perceptions that Asian Pacifics are overwhelmingly successful and self-sufficient, they experience a poverty rate that is twice that of non-Hispanic Whites. Among Southeast Asians, many of whom are refugees, fully one-half lives in poverty.

"This report illustrates the need for full participation and involvement of Asian Pacific Americans in public service," said Gene Liddell, Mayor of Lacey, Washington, and chair of NLC's Asian Pacific American Municipal Officials (APAMO) constituency group. "The Asian Pacific American community is undergoing dramatic growth and change and we must ensure that the needs of the Asian Pacific community are reflected in public policy."

To obtain more information on the Asian Pacific American Public Policy Institute (APAPPI), or to order a copy of "The State of Asian Pacific America: Policy Issues to the Year 2020, please contact APA-PPI at 213-485-1422.
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Title Annotation:report by the Asian Pacific American Public Policy Institute and the University of California in Los Angeles Asian American Studies Center
Author:Yamane, Sandra
Publication:Nation's Cities Weekly
Date:Mar 1, 1993
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