Asian and Pacific Islander Communities - We Count Oregon

Asian and Pacific Islander Communities

Asian and Pacific Islanders are part of the diverse makeup of Oregon communities and our participation in the 2020 Census is critical for resources and representation in our democracy. Oregon’s Pacific Islander population has grown by over 30 percent since the 2010 Census. 

Our voice matters. Undercounted and under-represented communities like Asian and Pacific Islanders must be seen to have our needs fully recognized. You, your family, and our communities count and being counted directly correlates to political representation and access to resources.

Our Asian and Pacific Islander population is increasing not only in size but in diversity.


1 in 3 Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islanders live in a hard-to-count Census area.


1 in 5 Asian Americans live in a hard-to-count Census area.

Our Asian and Pacific Islander population is increasing not only in size but in diversity. Asian Indian, Vietnamese, and Korean Americans—are now among the five largest API populations in the U.S. The number of Southeast Asian Americans, including those who are Cambodian, Hmong and Laotian, has grown significantly, as has the number of Pacific Islander Americans, including those who are Native Hawaiian, Samoan and Guamanian.

In 2017, 316 federal spending programs relied on 2010 Census-derived data to distribute $1.504 trillion to state and local governments, nonprofits, businesses, and households across the nation. In 2020, Oregon will receive about $3,200 per year, per person counted for the next ten years. So taking the Census ensures public services like headstart, k-12 education, roads, hospitals, emergency services, community centers as and services for immigrants receive the funding they need.

What’s different about the 2020 Census?

Why is the Census important for Asians and Pacific Islanders?

Taking the Census and accurately filling out the form in time will increase the representation of your issues at the local and state level.

Since the last census in 2010, an estimated 24 groups of Pacific Islanders have moved to Oregon.

The Census helps us to be visible in our democracy. The 2020 Census could mean another seat in Congress for Oregon, another opportunity for our voices to be heard. Census data is used to determine the distribution of congressional seats to a state, the number of electoral votes, and state redistricting.

It’s important to know that completing the census does not affect work authorization or the ability to reside in the U.S. In addition, questions about the status of your citizenship have been blocked from appearing on the 2020 Census. Here is a sample questionnaire of the Census form.

Census data is confidential and protected by Title 13 of the United States Code. The Census Bureau is prohibited from sharing data about individuals for 72 years. 

Census Bureau call centers have a staff to answer census questions in 12 languages including Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Tagalog and Japanese. You can also contact our partner organization APANO for additional assistance.

Download our toolkit!

Download our Asian and Pacific Islander Toolkit for additional resources for talking about and sharing information about taking the Census.

Questions? Contact us.