Shining a light on the health, mental health, and social service needs of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders in California

Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (AANHPIs) are among the fastest growing racial groups in California and nationwide. In response to a wave of attacks on AANHPIs throughout the pandemic, California passed the API Equity Budget in 2021 that included a three-year investment of over $166 million to better serve communities experiencing hate and barriers to various government services. Part of that historic investment was a $10 million award to AAPI Data to conduct demographic and policy research to better serve AANHPI communities.

AAPI Data selected the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research (CHPR) as a partner to understand the health, mental health, and social service needs of AANHPIs in California. UCLA CHPR’s California Health Interview Survey (CHIS) has served as one of the primary data sources for the study. 

In June 2022, AAPI Data and UCLA CHPR released a groundbreaking study that highlights disparities in the access and utilization of health, mental health and social services by Asian American and Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities. 

Good, disaggregated data is essential to ensure that state and local government agencies understand and address the needs of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities. We look forward to more actionable reports from AAPI Data and the California Health Interview Survey, with fresh data collections that shed light on AANHPI mental health needs and experiences with discrimination in various forms.

Dr. Richard Pan, MD, California State Senator and Chair of the Asian Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus

In February 2023, The Post-Pandemic Agenda for Community Well-Being among Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders in California was released, featuring pooled data from the 2018–2019 and 2020–2021 CHIS, as well as a 2021 and 2022 CHIS AANHPI follow-on survey, the California AANHPI Community Needs Survey. The report, which builds on the June 2022 report, aims to identify changes in accessing services before and after the onset of COVID in 2019 and 2021, respectively, and to take a closer look at the challenges that AA and NHPI communities face in the post-COVID period, including anxieties associated with gun violence and experiences with hate and discrimination.

A new report is coming in 2024.

AAPI Data at a Glance

1 in 4 

Asian Americans in California reported having ever experienced a hate crime or hate incident, with Southeast Asians reporting the highest levels of experiences with hate
(Source: 2021 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS) AA and NHPI follow-on survey)

2 in 3 

AANHPI adults in California said they were "very worried" or "somewhat worried" about being victims of gun violence
(Source: 2021 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS))


of NHPI adults and 22% of Asian American adults in California relied on community-based health care as a usual source of care in 2021, more than 2x white adults (11%)
(Source: 2020–2021 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS) pooled data)