Utah Women & Leadership Project reports on status of Asian women in Utah | News, Sports, Jobs


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The Utah Women & Leadership Project at Utah State University recently completed a report on the status of Asian women living in Utah.


As part of an ongoing series, the Utah Women & Leadership Project at Utah State University, headed by Susan Madsen, has released information on the status of Asian women in the state.

Among some of the research team’s finding are the following:

  • Utah Asian women are more likely to be married and less likely to divorce compared to all women in Utah and nationwide, and all Asian women nationally.
  • Asian women in Utah fare better in physical health measures. Utah Asian women are more likely to be insured, more likely to receive preventive care like pap smears and mammograms, and have lower rates of breast cancer, cervical cancer and obesity.
  • Both Utah and US Asian women are more likely to attain a college degree compared to all Utah women and all women in America overall. Utah Asian women also have higher college enrollment rates.
  • Utah Asian women tend to have higher rates of poverty compared to all Utah women. But, the trend is reverse nationally, with US Asian women having lower rates of poverty compared to all US women. There are most likely poverty rate differences between different Asian ethnicities, the research team surmises; however, they were not able to locate more specific data.

Madsen’s team noted that Utah could do better on data collecting, particularly when it comes to women and diversity.

“Decision-makers need to ensure data on women of color is collected for all issues affecting women and is accessible for data-informed program and policymaking purposes,” Madsen said. “This is especially true for the Asian population, which represents 20 different ethnicities representing countries of various levels of economic development.”

Last year, the University of Utah’s Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute released a databook on race, ethnicity and sex. That found that Utah is becoming diversified, resulting in wide disparities between the most minority and the white population in terms of education, housing and health outcomes.

Often, research entities publish data on gender and race separately, leaving a gap of information and understanding on the intersection of gender and race/ethnicity, the UWLP team stated in a research summary, meaning the community, decision-makers, and policymakers do not receive “the depth of information needed to design programs and policies that meet the diverse needs of all Utah women.”

The UWLP’s analysis of Asian women in Utah is the second of five studies examining Utah women of each census race/ethnic category: Pacific Islander, Asian, Black, Hispanic/Latino and Native American.

This research snapshot highlights both the available data and the information gaps that can, if filled, help local and state decision-makers and leaders to understand and address the needs of Utah Asian girls and women, according to Madsen.

Researchers used the US census description for “Asian”: “A person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian sub-continent including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Korea , Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippine Islands, Thailand, and Vietnam.” The term “Asian” represents more than 20 different ethnicities and multiple geographical regions.

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