To examine experiences of racial discrimination among Asian Americans, which broadly contribute to poor health outcomes.
Data Source and Study Design
Data come from a nationally representative, probability‐based telephone survey, including 500 Asian and a comparison group of 902 white US adults, conducted January to April 2017.
We calculated the percent of Asian Americans reporting discrimination in several domains, including health care. We used logistic regression to compare the Asian‐white difference in odds of discrimination, and among Asians only to examine variation by geographic heritage group (South Asian versus East Asian) and gender.
13 percent of Asians reported discrimination in healthcare encounters. At least one in four adults reported experiencing discrimination in employment (27 percent job applications, 25 percent equal pay/promotions); housing (25 percent); and interpersonal interactions (35 percent microaggressions, 32 percent racial slurs). In unadjusted models, East and South Asians were more likely than whites to report experiences of institutional discrimination, and South Asians were more likely than whites to report microaggressions. In adjusted models, Asians had higher odds than whites of reporting avoiding health care due to discrimination concerns and also when obtaining housing.
Asians in the United States experience discrimination interpersonally and across many institutional settings, including housing and health care. South Asians may be especially vulnerable to forms of institutional discrimination and microaggressions. These results illustrate a need for greater investigation into the unique experiences of Asian subgroups and greater protections for groups at higher risk of discrimination, within health care and beyond.