STUDY: APIA First-Time Voters Turned Out for 2016 Election in Record Numbers

By Sameer Rao May 17, 2017

A report released yesterday (May 16) unveils new data about Asian and Pacific Islander American (APIA) voters—including that 1.1 million new voters cast ballots in the 2016 election.

The third National Asian American Survey (NAAS) notes that the 1.1 million represents a 48 percent increase in new APIA voters since the 2012 presidential election. The figures below demonstrate that growth in proportion with previous years, as well as what percentages of various Asian-American communities voted for each major presidential nominee: 



NAAS director Karthick Ramakrishnan and fellow scholars Janelle Wong, Jenifer Lee and Taeku Lee base their conclusions on interviews with 4,393 APIA adults between November 2016 and March 2017. This week’s report is the first to include Bangladeshi and Pakistani Americans, who voted for Hillary Clinton at higher percentages (90 and 88 percent, respectively) than other Asian-American groups. Those numbers contribute to Asian Americans’ overall 69 percent preference for Clinton.

Despite the turnout, only 29 percent of Asian Americans and 26 percent of Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islander Americans reported experiencing direct outreach from a major political party—lower than all groups of color except Latinxs (27 percent).

The report also breaks down responses to survey questions regarding political concerns and opinions by ethnicity. Respondents named college affordability as their most pressing issue, with 53 percent labeling it "very serious" or "fairly serious," followed by healthcare costs (51 percent) and elder care (49 percent).

Read the full report at