The New Demographics

Understanding The Financial Wellbeing Of The Asian American And Pacific Islander Community

These communities share the highest median income and ownership percentage of stocks and bonds

(Washington, D.C.) – New research published today by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) sheds light on the financial well-being of individuals in the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community in the United States by looking at their income and ownership of different types of assets. The research report, “Understanding the Financial Wellbeing of the Asian American and Pacific Islander Community,” examined income and asset ownership of the AAPI community by different factors such as work arrangement, English proficiency, U.S. nativity status and metropolitan status. The findings showed that ownership and income compare favorably to individuals of other races and in many cases exceed that of the other racial groups.

Key findings in the new report include:

  • Those in the AAPI group had the highest ownership rates of stocks or bonds, retirement assets and checking accounts compared with the other races. For instance, 35% of the AAPI group owned stocks or bonds, compared with 23% of those in the “White alone” group, which was the group that had the second highest ownership rate.
  • While the median earned income was $45,784, individuals in the AAPI group had a median income of $55,342, which was 21% higher than the overall median and the highest compared with other racial groups, followed by White alone at $45,784 and Black alone at $37,920.
  • The higher ownership rates and incomes for the AAPI group generally carried over even when other factors were examined, such as metropolitan status, educational attainment, work arrangement, English proficiency, and U.S. nativity status.
  • Among the racial groups examined, the AAPI group had the highest percentage of people living in metropolitan areas with 98%. In addition, the AAPI group also had the highest rates of individuals with bachelor’s degrees or advanced degrees and individuals who are working for someone else (not self-employed). However, they are less likely to speak only English and to be born in the United States.

“The AAPI group had the highest percentage of individuals who speak a language other than English at home. Previous research has shown that individuals who only speak English generally have higher asset ownership rates than those who speak other languages,” said Samita Thephasit, wealth benefits research associate, EBRI. “However, within the AAPI group, different outcomes can be observed. Among this group, individuals who speak English very well or well had the highest median earned income. They also had the highest ownership rates for stocks, bonds and retirement assets and the second-highest rate of primary homeownership.”

The research analysis and report utilized data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2022 Survey of Income and Program Participation. The analysis was conducted by comparing earned income and asset ownership of five racial groups: White alone; Black Alone; Asian alone and Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander alone (AAPI); American Indian or Alaska Native alone; and those identified with more than one race. Individuals who identified as Asian in combination are not included in the AAPI group, as only the White-Asian combination is identified in the survey.

“It is worth noting that the AAPI community is not a single, homogeneous group. Despite their overall success in achieving financial wellbeing, those identified as Asian alone have higher median income and asset ownership rates than those identified as Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders, whose median income and asset ownership rates are lower than the national figures. Employers and financial institutions should take into account not only age, race, and gender, but also ethnic backgrounds when it comes to diversity and inclusion,” said Thephasit.




About The Employee Benefit Research Institute
The Employee Benefit Research Institute is a non-profit, independent and unbiased resource organization that provides the most authoritative and objective information about critical issues relating to employee benefit programs in the United States. The organization also coordinates activities for the Center for Research on Health Benefits Innovation, Financial Wellbeing Research Center, Retirement Security Research Center and produces a variety of leading industry surveys during the year. For more information, visit