Younger, lower-income Asian Canadians hardest hit by racism: study

Jun 8 2021, 10:07 am

A recent study has found that younger, lower-income Asian Canadians are likely the hardest hit by racism.

The findings come from a survey conducted by Angus Reid Institute in partnership with the University of British Columbia. It surveyed 580 Canadians who self-identify as Chinese, 77 who identify as East Asian or Southeast Asian, and 1,877 respondents who identify as non-Asian.

One of the main findings was that Canadians of Asian descent between 18 and 34-years-old were most likely to have experienced or been affected by anti-Asian racism and bigotry over the past year.


Anti-Asian Discrimination Index by age and gender (Angus Reid Institute)

Additionally, nearly half (47%) of Asian Canadians identified discrimination aimed at them as a problem in their own communities. The majority (58%) of Asian respondents say they’ve experienced at least one occurrence of anti-Asian discrimination over the past year, while one-in-four says they’re exposed to these incidents “often” or “all the time.”

anti-asian racism

(Angus Reid Institute)

In both instances, the most common display of racism came in the form of offensive anti-Chinese or anti-Chinese messages.

Well over one-third (39%) of Asian respondents also said they have changed their routines at least once to “avoid potential racism or discrimination.”

anti-asian racism

(Angus Reid Institute)

When it comes to how Asian Canadians handle discriminatory or racist actions, a combined 53% say that it’s hurtful and stays with them.


(Angus Reid Institute)

When questioned about the source of discrimination, there were few Asian Canadians that said they believe anti-Asian racism to be institutional.

“The vast majority (86%) say they have not received poor or unfair treatment by institutional organizations such as local police, the health care system, banks, or the justice system,” reads the study.

According to a recent report by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism (CHSE) at California State University San Bernadino, Vancouver saw more anti-Asian hate crimes than any other major city in North America last year.

“The largest increase (717% from 2019 to 2020) was in Vancouver, British Columbia, the nation’s third-largest city,” the report said.

“Overall hate crime totals for the multi-city Canadian sample found a 74% increase in hate crimes overall from 2019 to 2020.”

DH Vancouver StaffDH Vancouver Staff

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