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Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AA and NHPI)

Asian Americans, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islanders
  • In the United States, 6.1% of the population (22.4 million people) identified as Asian American, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander (NHOPI) in 2021. Chinese, Indian, Filipino, Vietnamese, Korean, and Japanese Americans make up the largest groups of Asian Americans
  • Forty-five percent of the nation’s Asian American population lives in the West, with 30% in California alone. Twelve percent live in the Midwest, 19% in the Northeast, and the remaining 24% live in the South
  • The poverty rate of the Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander population is 10%
  • Approximately 5,8% of Asian Americans are not covered by health insurance, compared with about 6% of non-Hispanic White Americans

Behavioral Health Concerns

According to the 2021 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH):

  • The percentage of Asian Americans and Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders who reported having any mental illness (AMI) in 2021 was 16% and 18%, respectively
  • Only 25% of Asian Americans received mental health services compared to non-Hispanic Whites (52%)
  • Eight percent of Asian Americans and 15.7% of Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders reported have a substance use disorder, 11% of Asian Americans reported illicit drug use in the past year, and 7% reported unmet treatment needs

Suicide was the leading cause of death among Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, ages 10 to 19 and the second leading cause of death among those ages 20-34

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Asian Americans have disproportionately experienced a rise in mental health challenges, partly due to the increase in anti-Asian racial discrimination.

Asian American, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders face unique barriers to behavioral health care including:

  • Language barriers make it difficult for Asian Americans to access behavioral health services
  • Mental health stigma and cultural conceptualizations of behavioral health within Asian American communities can reduce help-seeking
  • Perceived lower need of mental health care among Asian Americans compared to other racial and ethnic groups
  • Provider shortage of clinicians with diverse racial/ethnic backgrounds
  • Lack of culturally competent providers to meet cultural, social, and language-related needs
Last Updated
Last Updated: 05/25/2023
Last Updated