One in four Koreans hide part of their heritage from people who are not Asian, while only one in 10 consider themselves “American,” according to a new report by Pew Research.
These findings are from a special report released by the Pew Research Center on May 8 in recognition of AAPI Heritage Month.
The report, titled “Diverse Cultures and Shared Experiences Shape Asian American Identities,” is based on a survey of 7,006 Asians nationwide conducted between July of last year and January of this year.
The survey found that when non-Asians ask about their identity, Asians often hide it due to the general lack of knowledge and understanding of their heritage and also fear of discrimination. Twenty percent of all Asian respondents said they hide their identity, with the highest rate being among Koreans at 25%.
By age group, 39% were between the ages of 18 and 29, 45% had a bachelor’s degree or higher, and there were more women than men.
While Asian immigrants were more likely to disclose their country of origin, U.S.-born Asian adults were more likely to describe their identity as “Asian-American/Asian.”
While 31% of Asian immigrants describe themselves most often with their ethnicity alone, that number was 15% for U.S.-born Asian adults, which is only about half as many as first-generation immigrants. In fact, 47% of U.S.-born Asian adults identify themselves as Asian-American.
For Koreans, 30% of all respondents said they identify themselves as Korean and 36% as Korean-American. Another 14% said they identify as Asian-American, 6% as Asian, and 9% as American.
A notable finding in the report is that not many Asians call themselves American. Overall, only 7% of Asian immigrants identify as American. Among U.S.-born Asian adults, only 17% identified as American.
In addition, 67% of Koreans said that what happens to Asians in the U.S. has an impact on their own lives, and 66% said it is very or extremely important for the U.S. Asian community to have a national leader advancing its concerns. One in two Koreans said most of their friends in the U.S. share their ethnicity or are otherwise Asian.
Koreans were least likely to feel comfortable about marrying someone who is not Asian. Among Koreans, 77% of respondents said they would be okay with marrying someone who is not Asian, and 78% said they would be okay with marrying someone who is Asian but with a different ethnicity than theirs. This is the lowest percentage by race.
Among Filipinos, 94% said they would be okay with marrying someone of a different race, while 89% of Chinese said they would be okay with marrying another Asian with a different ethnicity.
BY NICOLE CHANG [firstname.lastname@example.org]