According to the Census Bureau (2000), the Asian Americans and Pacific Islander (APPI) population is among the fastest growing population in the United States. The Institute of Medicine (Ulmer, McFadden, & Nerenz, 2009) along with the U.S. Census Bureau (2000) described that Asian American is someone who identifies him/herself as having origins in any of the original countries of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian subcontinent. In addition, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander is someone who identifies his/her origins in any of the original peoples of Hawaii, Guam, Samoa, or other Pacific Islands, including the people who identify as Chamorro, Tahitian, Mariana Islander, or Chuukese (Ulmer et al, 2009; U.S. Census Bureau, 2000)
Geographically, the Asian American population made up 15% of the California state population, while Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islanders nearly reach 1% of the state’s population (U.S. Census Bureau estimates, 2004). Half of California’s APPI population lives in three counties (Los Angeles, Santa Clara, and Orange County). In Los Angeles County, the concentration of the APPI population had a growth rate of 35% from 1990 to 2000 (U.S. Census Bureau, 2000).
Socio demographics measures (i.e. median age, education, poverty rate) indicated an above average rate for the APPI population in the L.A. county area; however, some APPI groups fall below average (citation). The median age for Asian Americans is 35 years, while the median age for Hmongs, Tongans, Samoans, and Cambodians is 19, 20, 21, and 24 respectively. Educational levels also differ among the APPI groups; while most APPI groups show high rates of high school graduation, only half of Hawaiian and Pacific Islander obtained a high school degree as the highest level of education. In regards to poverty indicators, the overall APPI poverty rate is lower than that of the L.A. County; however, five APPI groups have poverty rates higher than any of the major racial/ethnic groups in the country (Asian Pacific American Legal Center, 2004).
Other sociodemographic measure of the APPI population worth to mention is the linguistic access. The U.S. Census Bureau reported that ten APPI groups have the highest rate of limited English proficiency. In addition, APPI households have the highest levels of linguistic isolation (2004).
APPI AND HEALTH DISPARITIES
The National Healthcare Disparities Report (NHDR) associated the definition of health disparities to equity; health care disparities are the conditions or facts of having an unequal, uneven access generally to health care for some racial/ethnic groups across the United States (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2003). The U.S. Census reported that APPI population had the second highest percentage of uninsured children (12%) and adult population (40%) from 1990 to 2000 in L.A. County (2000).
Additionally, the Office of Management and Budget (1997) indicated...