1 in 3 Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders have experienced hate incidents: survey

One third of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders say they have experienced a “hate incident” in the past year, and an additional 16 percent say they have been the victim of a hate crime, according to a new survey released Tuesday.

The survey – conducted by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research – relies on official definitions used by the Department of Justice (DOJ): “Hate crimes” include acts or threats of physical assault or property damage; “hate incidents” include verbal harassment, racial or ethnic slurs, and being spit or cough upon.

The poll asked 1,178 AAPI adults nationwide to indicate which incidents they’ve experienced “specifically because of your race or ethnicity” in the last 12 months.

Thirty-four percent said they’ve experienced a hate incident, including verbal harassment (23 percent), called a racial slur (22 percent), cyberbullied (7 percent), spit or coughed on (5 percent), hate mail (2 percent.)

Sixteen percent said they’ve experienced a hate crime, including physical assault (3 percent), threat of assault (11 percent), damaged property (5 percent), and threat to damage property (8 percent).

In a separate set of questions, AAPI adult respondents were asked about whether they’ve experienced instances of discrimination based on their race or ethnicity.

About half, 52 percent, say they experience at least one type of discrimination either “often” or “sometimes,” including when applying for jobs (33 percent), in your community (28 percent), when dealing with the police (25 percent), when getting healthcare (19 percent), or when applying for housing or a loan (18 percent).

The new study comes at a time when reports of AAPI discrimination are up. The report on the survey data notes that this trend is particularly pronounced since COVID-19.

“The survey reveals the alarming rate at which Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are facing racism and hate and the toll that it is taking on mental health,” AP-NORC Center Deputy Director Jennifer Benz said in the press release.

The survey was conducted on Oct. 10-20, 2023 using online and telephone interviews. The interviews were offered in English and the Chinese dialects of Mandarin and Cantonese, in Vietnamese, and in Korean. There was a margin of error of +/- 4.2 percentage points.

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