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Congressional Mentions of AAPI on Social Media

The growth of AAPI population in the U.S. and the recent rise in violence against them has lawmakers tweeting more than ever.
May 27, 2021

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Asian Americans are the fastest growing demographic group in the U.S. electorate, with the population doubling in the U.S. in the last two decades to 23 million. That growth and the terrible rise in violence against them during the pandemic has lawmakers mentioning Asian Americans more on social media than ever before, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis.

From 2016 through 2019, lawmakers mentioned Asian Americans on social media fewer than 2,000 times per year, but the number of posts doubled in 2020 and was almost matched in the the first 3 months of 2021. The number of members of Congress posting about Asian Americans has almost doubled, from 167 in 2016 to 312 (59% of lawmakers). Since 2020, 93% of Democratic lawmakers have mentioned Asian Americans in social media posts compared to just 32% of Republicans. Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders account for just 4% of current lawmakers but produced 36% of the social media posts discussing Asian Americans since 2020.

The map below shows that the greatest concentrations of Asian Americans are found in the Pacific states and the Northeast, but we also see significant increases in several Midwestern and Southern states.