Numbers, Facts and Trends Shaping Your World

In Their Own Words:
The Diverse Perspectives of
Being Asian in America

In the fall of 2021, Pew Research Center undertook the largest focus group study it had ever conducted – 66 focus groups with 264 total participants – to hear Asian Americans talk about their lived experiences in America. The focus groups were organized into 18 distinct Asian ethnic origin groups, fielded in 18 languages and moderated by members of their own ethnic groups.

These quotes reflect participants’ initial reaction to the question: “What does it mean to be you in America?” Many of the participants told us this was the first time they were ever asked this question. Others told us their answers to this question had evolved over time.

Use this interactive to sort focus group quotes by ethnic origin nativity (immigrant or U.S. born), years lived in the U.S. (for immigrant participants), gender and age. To start, choose an origin group or select “view all quotes” to see responses from all focus group participants.

What does it mean to be …

… living in America?

KeyDisplay Text
allSelected quotes from all focus group participants
origingroup_filipinoSelected quotes from Filipino focus group participants
nativity_foreignbornSelected quotes from the Foreign-born group on case by case basis
lengthofstay_over10yearsSelected quotes from the Over 10 years group
age_under50Selected quotes from the Under 50 group
gender_manSelected quotes from the Man group
origingroup_chineseSelected quotes from Chinese focus group participants
age_50Selected quotes from the 50+ group
origingroup_pakistaniSelected quotes from Pakistani focus group participants
nativity_usbornSelected quotes from the U.S.-born group
lengthofstay_naSelected quotes from the N/A group
origingroup_vietnameseSelected quotes from Vietnamese focus group participants
lengthofstay_lessthan10yearsSelected quotes from the Less than 10 years group
gender_womanSelected quotes from the Woman group
origingroup_hmongSelected quotes from Hmong focus group participants
origingroup_bangladeshiSelected quotes from Bangladeshi focus group participants
origingroup_japaneseSelected quotes from Japanese focus group participants
origingroup_indianSelected quotes from Indian focus group participants
origingroup_laotianSelected quotes from Laotian focus group participants
origingroup_taiwaneseSelected quotes from Taiwanese focus group participants
origingroup_nepaleseSelected quotes from Nepalese focus group participants
origingroup_cambodianSelected quotes from Cambodian focus group participants
origingroup_burmeseSelected quotes from Burmese focus group participants
origingroup_thaiSelected quotes from Thai focus group participants
origingroup_koreanSelected quotes from Korean focus group participants
origingroup_srilankanSelected quotes from Sri Lankan focus group participants
origingroup_bhutaneseSelected quotes from Bhutanese focus group participants
origingroup_indonesianSelected quotes from Indonesian focus group participants
lengthofstay_lessthan10yyearsSelected quotes from the Less than 10 Yyears group