Asian Americans:

A Status Report

HRD-90-36FS: Published: Mar 8, 1990. Publicly Released: May 8, 1990.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the income, employment, education, health, and nutrition status of Asian Americans, and their enrollment in nine federal welfare programs.

GAO found that: (1) data on Asian Americans were limited because available studies were not sufficient to make statistically valid nationwide projections; and (2) data on Asian Americans by country of origin or ethnic group were not available, except for the 1980 census. GAO also found that: (1) Southeast Asian refugees had lower incomes and educational levels, as well as higher poverty, unemployment, and welfare program participation rates than other Asian American groups; (2) the groups with the most language difficulties had the highest participation rates in welfare programs; (3) the per-capita average household income and education for Asian Americans was about the same as the national average in 1985; (4) 75 percent of Southeast Asian adults who immigrated to the United States between 1978 and 1982 had less than a high school education; and (5) Asian Americans had longer life expectancies, lower death rates from all causes, and lower infant mortality rates, but suffered from higher rates of infectious diseases and nutritional and mental health problems than the U.S. population as a whole.

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