Mar. 28, 2024 — AAPI Data, a leading national research and policy organization, applauds today’s news from the federal government, which released updated standards requiring federal agencies to collect more detailed data beyond the minimum required race and ethnicity categories. This historic announcement comes after the last major revision to these standards came about in 1997.

Today’s announcement comes from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), which oversees data collection efforts across all federal agencies. The updated standards will produce detailed data on specific communities, including Chinese, Asian Indian, Vietnamese, Hmong, and other Asian American groups; as well as Native Hawaiian, Samoan, Tongan, Chamorro, and other Native Hawaiian & Pacific Islander (NHPI) groups.

In response to today’s announcement, AAPI Data released the following statements: 

“We applaud the federal government for releasing these long-needed revisions for standards that more adequately recognize and honor the diversity, strength and needs of our communities. Today’s announcement represents a vital step forward in the movement for data equity, with particular benefits for the diverse Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities we support through our work,” said Karthick Ramakrishnan, founder and executive director of AAPI Data. “One of the key provisions outlined in these revised standards includes the establishment of an Interagency Committee to supervise these efforts. While this is a critical step forward, we strongly urge this body to play a stronger role in ensuring successful implementation of these standards — namely through much more frequent and timely reviews, recommendations for performance improvements, and opportunities for community input beyond the stated 10-year cycles.”

“The collection of accurate data that more meaningfully represents our communities is a foundation to build collective progress on in the form of stronger policies, programs and investments across every sector — which in turn will positively impact our communities in all spheres, from health and education to access to jobs and public resources,” said Akil Vohra, director of policy for AAPI Data. “We celebrate this critical milestone and are prepared and eager to support the Office of Management and Budget and all federal agencies to ensure that community voice and input are incorporated in the development and implementation of the revised standards.”

AAPI Data, as part of a broader national coalition of Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander organizations, has identified four key provisions in the newly released standards as high-impact for AA and NHPI communities and beyond:

  1. Data Disaggregation: For the first time, OMB is requiring federal agencies to collect detailed data beyond the minimum required race and ethnicity categories, with significantly increased representation across AA and NHPI groups.
  2. Establishment of an Overseeing Body: OMB’s decision to establish an Interagency Committee on Race and Ethnicity Statistical Standards will support and supervise the ongoing work of all federal agencies to meet the revised requirements. 
  3. Action Plan Timeline: the standards also include language requiring each federal agency to develop an “Agency Action Plan” for complete compliance within 18 months, and must establish a 5-year timeline for full implementation.
  4. Implementation Timeline: following the creation of an action plan, each federal agency must also establish a 5-year timeline for full implementation.

AAPI Data contributed to the collective statement issued by the National Coalition of Asian Pacific Americans, which can be found at https://www.ncapaonline.org/ncapaspd15/

About AAPI Data
AAPI Data is a national research and policy organization producing accurate data to support community narratives that drive action toward enduring solutions for Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AA and NHPI) communities. Learn more at aapidata.com.