HONOLULU (KHON2) — Last year, a study found that nearly 3 in 4 Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) women reported experiencing racism and/or discrimination, showing a rise in hate incidents since the COVID-19 pandemic started. Even with a relative decline in the severity of the pandemic, attacks against Asian Americans continue to increase at alarming rates.

A study this year looked deeper into the root causes tied to the fear and “othering” of Asian Americans, which have been manifested in harmful stereotypes and misperceptions.

There’s an estimated 24 million people who identified as Asian alone or in combination in the U.S. in 2020, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. In honor of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, they released key statistics here.

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As of July 2021, there’s an estimated 1,441,553 people living in Hawaii of which 37.6% identified as Asian alone — so this does not include the 24.2% who identified as mixed race.

In a nationwide study, the STAATUS (Social Tracking of Asian Americans in the U.S.) Index collected data from 5,113 residents, age 18 and over. Key findings include the following:

  • Nearly 1/3 of Americans overall are unaware that attacks against Asian Americans are increasing.
  • 29% of Asian Americans completely agree that they feel like they belong in the U.S.
  • Over 70% of Americans believe Asian Americans have benefited the U.S., especially in the areas of positive economic impact, academic excellence, and medical advancements.
  • Those who believe that Asian Americans are more loyal to their country of origin increased from 20% to 33% over the past year.
  • 21% of Americans agreed that Asian Americans are at least partly responsible for COVID-19.
  • 58% are unable to name a prominent Asian American, highlighting once again the invisibility of Asian Americans in the eyes of most Americans.
    • The Top 3 Asian Americans named by respondents were the same as last year: Jackie Chan (who is not American), Bruce Lee and Lucy Liu.
    • The most common non-actors cited are Kamala Harris and Connie Chung.
  • The vast majority of Americans (71%) across all racial groups express interest to see more Asian Americans in TV and movies.
    • Americans still primarily see Asian American actors in stereotypical and negative roles.
  • 42% of Americans lack knowledge about the history and experience of Asian Americans, especially after World War II.
    • When respondents were asked about which significant events came to mind, 17% said WWII internment, 14% said atomic bomb / attack on Pearl Harbor and 8% said building railroads.

This study aimed to accomplish three goals: increase awareness about Asian American perceptions, provide data that government can use to advocate for Asian American inclusion and inform the development of impactful policies that can improve Asian American status in the U.S.

Click here to read the full report.

This survey was conducted online between Feb. 10 to Feb. 28 by Savanta Research. Respondents included 2,840 Whites or Caucasians, 888 Blacks or African Americans, 1,023 Latinos or Hispanic Americans and 1,074 Asians or Asian Americans.