The Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs today released “The State of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in Washington”, the first comprehensive report examining issues facing the Asian American and Pacific Islander community.

This report looks at several areas: The history of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in Washington, education, healthcare and human services, the criminal justice system, economic opportunities, housing, immigration, and political participation.

A few highlighted facts from the report:

  • Asian American and Pacific Islanders make up 8.5% of Washington’s population and comprise one of the largest racial minority group representing over 47 distinct populations.
  • Islanders had one of the highest annual dropout rates of 7.2% and more than 40% of Asian American high school students are at risk of academic failure in math.
  • Cancer is the leading cause of death among the AAPI community and there are higher incidence and death rates for lung, breast, cervical, liver and stomach cancer.
  • Washington is among the ten states with the most AAPI owned small businesses with receipts of over $6.2 billion and on average, for every dollar that a non-minority owned business earns, an Asian-owned businesses earns between 56 to 59 cents.
  • AAPI borrowers in Washington were significantly more likely to receive high cost home loans than non-Hispanic white borrowers.

This report is the result of a collaboration between the Fred T. Korematsu Center for Law and Equality at the Seattle University School of Law, attorneys from Perkins Coie, fellows, and the Commission. The Center donated to the printing of over 1,000 copies of the report which will be provided to the Governor, members of the Legislature, state agency directors, and the AAPI community. A copy of the report can be found by visiting:

CAPAA was established by the state legislature in 1974 to improve the well-being of Asian Pacific Americans (APAs) by ensuring their access to participation in the fields of government, business, education, and other areas. It has a board made up of 12-governor appointed members that represent the diverse APA communities of Washington State..

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