I received my copy of the 2007 Massachusetts Asian Pacific American Directory last week. The directory is published by the Institute for Asian American Studies, UMass Boston and the Asian American Resource Workshop. It is their 9th edition and it lists over 300 Massachusetts Asian or Asian Pacific American organizations, including media outlets. It is an impressive compilation. Besides their contact information, the authors also provide a short description of each organization.
I was amazed at the number of organizations serving the AAPI (Asian American & Pacific Islander) community in Massachusetts. I also applaud the two groups for putting the directory together. The information gathered can help draw attention to the issues in the community and perhaps, increase the necessary funding and support for the organizations trying to address those needs.
The Asian American Demographics in Massachusetts At a Glance report inside the directory confirmed some of the growing and changing needs. Asian Americans are certainly diverse in terms of ethnicity, educational background and social and economic needs. Unfortunately, support and funding for these issues are still relatively small (see AAPIP's Growing Opportunities post citing key gaps in funding to AAPI communities).
Some Asian Americans are educated but many are not.
* 56.1% of Asian Americans in the state held at least a bachelor's degree compared with 36.9% of the total population.
* 9.7% of Asian Americans had less than a 9th grade education compared with 5.0% of the total population.
Asian Americans are poor.
* 16.6% of Asian American individuals lived in poverty as compared with 10.3% for the total population.
* 12.2% of Asian American families lived in poverty as compared to 7.6% for total population.
The Asian American population is increasing in Massachusetts.
* There were 292,537 (4.7% of total Mass population) Asian Americans in 2005 compared to 238,124 (3.8% of total Mass population) in 2000.
* The Vietnamese grew the fastest between 2000 to 2005 - 43.1% change; followed by Indians (27.5%) and Chinese (25.1%).
Many Asian Americans are immigrants.
* In 2005, 71.7% of Asian Americans in Massachusetts were born outside the US. Of these, 31.8% were naturalized citizens.
For more detailed data and analysis, please visit www.iaas.umb.edu.
Photo courtesy of James Jordan