Lack of Asian Representation in Data

The value of representation and diversity is high. During the COVID-19 pandemic, I have paid particular attention to statistics and which demographics they include. Early on, some states and counties did not tally race and ethnicity, thus could not provide a full picture of who the coronavirus affected.

In this post, I am sharing a video with you from Meet the Press on July 4, 2021. Forty-three minutes and 10 seconds in to the video, Meet the Press cites data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention showing that life expectancy has decreased one year overall.

Screenshot of the July 4, 2021 episode of Meet the Press. Data for Change in Life Expectancy for 2019-2020 show an overall decrease of one year. White decreased by 0.8 years, Hispanic decreased by 1.9 years, and Black decreased by 2.7 years.
Screenshot of Meet the Press episode on July 4, 2021, 43:10.

What is telling about this data is that Asians, Pacific Islanders, and Native Americans are notably excluded. These three groups are affected by the pandemic as well, so why is data not collected and presented for these demographics? Without these groups, how could the “Overall” be presented as accurate or representative of the U.S.? One reasonable conclusion is that these excluded groups are socially not considered as part of the country, their numbers and representing them don’t count.

Moreover, I went to the CDC website and searched for this information to see if this is an accurate representation of what the CDC published, but I can’t find it. I expected this new data to be front and center or among the most recently published, but it’s non-existent when I searched.

  1. Changes in Life Expectancy at Birth, 2018-2019
  2. Death and Mortality for the top 10 causes of death, 2019
  3. Mortality in the United States, 2019, includes information on top 10 causes of death and mortality adjusted for race, ethnicity, and sex (does not include Asian, Native Americans, and Pacific Islanders)

If you happen to find the report cited in Meet the Press, please share the link in the Comment section.

I can’t emphasize how important accurate and authentic representation of every demographic is for a country that is as diverse as the U.S. Anything short of accurate representation is a failure on the people and organizations who intentionally include these demographics. At this point, racism is clear.

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I manage two blogs - Elle's Adventure in China (EACh) and Read and Write Here (R&WH). EACh currently has China-related content from reputable news sources. R&WH is to express my creativity through writing, art, jewelry, and to inform others.

2 thoughts on “Lack of Asian Representation in Data”

  1. I find that too often people pay attention to the loudest. Since Asians are (usually, stereotypically) considered quiet and we don’t hear them speak up as much as the other ‘minorities’, we tend to ignore them. I think this is terrible and I’m glad you are raising this issue on here.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree that Asians are considered quiet, especially older Asians and immigrants, as they are the most vulnerable in a new land where they may not know the language, laws, and customs. This has changed with younger generations, and we can see that through their efforts to organize and raise awareness of how the pandemic has negatively affected older members of their communities, as well as nationally when afforded such opportunities. It’s unfortunate that there are still organizations that choose studies that are exclusionary, thus, not representative of the U.S.

      Liked by 1 person

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