57% of Asian Americans Feel Unsafe in Public, Poll Shows

As reports of anti-Asian incidents increase amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the majority of Asian Americans feel unsafe to be in public, according to a new poll.

Key findings: The survey, conducted by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, found that 57% of Asian Americans now feel at risk “often” or “sometimes” because of their race.

  • Of 1,842 adults polled, 344 were Asian Americans.
  • A greater majority (71%) of Asian Americans feel that anti-Asian discrimination has surged over the past year.
  • Around 67% feel “extremely” or “very” concerned that COVID-19 has stoked violence against Asian Americans, while 17% are “somewhat” concerned.
  • There are also significant partisan differences as 65% of Democrats feel “extremely” or “very” concerned, compared to just 22% of Republicans.
  • The only group feeling more unsafe in public than Asian Americans were African Americans (63%).

Why this matters: Of the 6,603 anti-Asian incidents reported to Stop AAPI Hate between March 19, 2020 and March 31, 2021, most unfolded in public spaces.

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  • According to the report, most incidents occurred in places of business (32.2%), followed by public streets or sidewalks (29.4%).
  • Other public sites of discrimination included transit (8.7%), parks (8.4%), schools (5.5%), universities (3.1%) and places of worship (1%).
  • Some 8.8% of the incidents took place in private residences, while a larger 9.1% occurred online.
  • Majority of the victims were Chinese (43.7%, out of all the Asians polled), women (64.8%, of all ethnicities) and aged 26-35 (30.3%, no specification on gender).
  • Verbal harassment (65.2%) and shunning (18.1%) made up the largest proportions of all incidents.

Last week, President Biden signed the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act to expedite the review of anti-Asian hate crimes and allot grants for incident hotlines and law enforcement training.

Featured Image via Jason Leung

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