Asian Americans have fallen behind other ethnic groups with regard to political participation, despite being one of the fastest growing populations and having achieved socioeconomic advantages over the last few decades. This paper examines this puzzle by looking at a demographic and socioeconomic portrait of major Asian-American groups and their participation patterns in electoral politics. The paper focuses on a host of factors, such as group membership, generation, assimilation, and political and community contexts, that go beyond individual level attributes. The paper explores particularly how group-specific political and community contexts mediate voting behavior differently or similarly across three major Asian groups—Korean, Chinese, and Filipino Americans—based on a review of existing research, secondary data from the Current Population Surveys of 2000, 2004, and 2008, and the 2011 American Community Survey.
*This paper was originally presented at the Fourth Annual Conference of the Research Center for Korean Community at Queens College, which was held at Queens College on April 5-7, 2013. This paper was also published in Development and Society, Volume 42, Number One, June 2013. We would like to thank Development and Society for allowing us to repost this article.