Aggregated data masks Asian disparities in Maryland and U.S.

By Trisha Ahmed, Baltimore Fishbowl |

For Maryland, “a good first step is to expand current racial identity categories on state forms to include opportunities for respondents to identify not only as Asian or Pacific Islander, but to indicate national origin as well,” said Janelle Wong, an Asian American studies professor at the University of Maryland and a researcher at AAPI Data, in an email to Capital News Service.

“Our Asian American elected officials are important actors when it comes to moving this pressing issue forward,” Wong said.

State senator Lam told Capital News Service, “We have considered it but do not have any legislation planned at this time,” as legislation would be difficult to update while understandings of Asian American and Pacific Islander communities improve and evolve, Lam added.

State departments and agencies can also adopt their own policies for data disaggregation and “we’d be open to working with them on developing provisions that address this issue,” Lam said.

“We are examining other states and their policies to address data disaggregation to see if there are methods or policies that we can adopt from them that have been effective,” Lam said.