Ong on Census Miscount of Asian Americans

Paul Ong, head of the Center for Neighborhood Knowledge at UCLA Luskin, spoke to National Public Radio about reports regarding an overcount of Asian Americans in the latest census. A recent analysis found that while national figures reflect an overcount, Asian Americans were actually undercounted in some rural parts of the country. Ong said miscounts should not be ignored because communities may risk losing representation in government, as well as federal funding for public services. “It goes along probably with the ‘model minority’ narrative that somehow there is some statistical result that says that there are no problems among Asian Americans and therefore we don’t need to pay attention to them,” he said. Ong said possible reasons for an overcount include college students being counted once on campus and once at home, and anti-Asian rhetoric that led to more people of Asian descent to check an Asian race box on census forms.


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