Between 2006 and 2010, the number of Asian Americans and NHPIs living below the poverty line in California increased 50 percent, while the number of unemployed Asian Americans and NHPIs grew by nearly 200 percent. Mongolian, Hmong and Cambodian-Americans in particular have higher poverty rates and lower per capita income than whites. And while Asian Americans are broadly thought to be high-achieving, high-earning and highly educated, Hmong, Cambodian, Laotian, Vietnamese and Fijian-Americans face significant barriers to education, and some of the lowest college attendance rates in the country.
In health, too, Asian Americans in California struggle with language barriers that make getting health services a real challenge. And in part because many lack health insurance, Asian Americans deal with very real health challenges. Asian Americans are the only racial group in California for whom cancer is the top cause of death, researchers found. Not only that, but rates of diabetes in the Asian American community remain disproportionately high, and in the case of suicide, are even on the rise.