New survey finds the lives of Chinese Americans are heavily impacted by racism and puts renewed focus on Asian hate crimes

New survey finds the lives of Chinese Americans are heavily impacted by racism and puts renewed focus on Asian hate crimes
Lucy Lee, of Marietta, Ga., holds an American flag while rallying outside of the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta during a unity "Stop Asian Hate" rally Saturday afternoon, March 20, 2021.AP Photo/Ben Gray
  • A study by Columbia University spoke to 6,500 Chinese Americans.
  • The study found that nearly 1 in 10 said they had been physically assaulted or intimidated in the last year

A new study indicates that the lives of many Chinese Americans are being negatively impacted by racial hate and discrimination.

The first and largest project of its kind, the "State of Chinese Americans" survey of 6,500 people by Columbia University's School of Social Work and Comittee 100 found that nearly 75% of Chinese Americans have faced racial discrimination in the last year and 55% worry about their safety relating to hate crimes or harassment.

In addition, the research found that 1 in 5 had been called a racial slur or harassed in the past year, and nearly 1 in 10 have been physically intimidated or assaulted.

According to data from the Department of Commerce, 5.4 million Chinese Americans live in the US.

The latest FBI data shows that anti-Asian hate rose +167% between 2020 and 2021.


The COVID-19 pandemic fuelled this surge in hate crimes against Asian Americans, with a study from the Anti-Defamation League finding that the pandemic corresponded with a rise in hate speech and harassment on social networks aimed at Asian Americans.

Although it's difficult to link this hatred to one cause, the study said some of that rise could be attributed to former President Trump's comments about COVID-19, which he called it the"Chinese virus," the "Kung Flu."

Earlier this year, Asian American communities in California were hit with two back-to-back mass shootings.

The suspects in both shootings were later revealed to be Asian men, diminishing fears that the attacks were hate crimes, but advocates say the violence adds to the dread that Asian Americans have experienced the past several years.

When May Lee asked her University of Southern California students about their initial reaction to the shootings, she told Insider the first thought on everyone's mind was the fear that a hate crime occurred.


"It is a collective fear that all of us have gone through and continue to go through," Lee said. "And even though this shooting was not your typical racially charged hate crime, it still was an act of violence. And so that's going to trigger any kind of fear and anxiety."

On May 2022, the Department of Justice released a new report to raise awareness of hate crimes during the pandemic, citing a "surge of hate crimes and hate incidents against Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities."