New study explores lives of LGBT Asian and Pacific Islanders


According to a new study called the “LGBT Asian and Pacific Islander Individuals and Same-Sex Couples,” 2.8 percent of Asian and Pacific Islander and (API) adults residing in the US identify as LGBT.

Compiled by Williams Institute public policy research fellow Angeliki Kastanis and Williams Institute Distinguished Scholar Gary J. Gates, it was also discovered that 325,000 API LGBT individuals have reduced rates of academic achievement and employment while 33,000 API LGBT couples are doing better than their heterosexual counterparts.

“Detailed data analysis reveals vulnerable LGBT subgroups including Pacific Islanders and Native Hawaiians, female same-sex couples, couples where both partners are API and couples with children,” said Kastanis. “These groups tend to experience lower rates of health insurance coverage, lower academic achievement, higher rates of non-citizenship status, and higher rates of unemployment than other API couples.”

The survey noted that individuals of Asian Indian, Pakistani and Taiwanese descent have high levels of educational attainment while Laotian, Hmong, Cambodian and Hawaiian individuals have a lesser rate of college completion.

Also, API LGBT couples are attracted to high population areas of other API communities. The hot spots for these API-populated places are California, New York and Hawaii.

“The findings show that API individuals in same-sex couples are more likely than those in different-sex couples to both have a college degree. However, API same-sex couples raising children have much lower levels of education than their different sex counterparts, which may explain some of their economic vulnerability,” Gates said in the report.


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