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Stat Insights: Asian/Pacific Americans in Science and Engineering

Bachelor's degrees in S&E earned by Native Hawaiians or Other Pacific Islanders, by sex and field

Bachelor's degrees in S&E earned by Native Hawaiians or Other Pacific Islanders, by sex and field


May 29, 2019

The National Science Foundation's National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) celebrates Asian/Pacific American Heritage month with some insightful statistics about the contributions of Asian, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islanders in science and engineering (S&E).

While Asian citizens and permanent residents, ages 18 to 64, comprise only 4.9% of the U.S. population and 6.1% of the labor force, they are well-represented in higher education, particularly in S&E.  For instance, in 2016, Asians earned 6.9% of all bachelor’s degrees, and 9.9% of all S&E bachelor’s degrees. They received 7% of all doctoral degrees and 9.1% of doctoral degrees in S&E.  This strong academic showing is reflected in the workforce. In 2017, Asian citizens and permanent residents constituted 13% of the S&E workforce.  Moreover, Asian scientists and engineers tended to earn about $10,000 more than the median salary for all scientists and engineers.

Although the population of Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders is far below that of Asians — 0.2% compared to 4.9% — Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders are proportionally represented in higher education, in general, and in S&E, in particular. In 2016, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders earned 0.3% of all bachelor’s degrees, with 0.2% of those in science and engineering. In the workforce, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders comprised 0.2% of scientists and engineers.  Like their Asian counterparts, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders typically earn a higher salary of about $5,000 above the median for all scientists and engineers.

See a broad range of statistics about Asian, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islanders in science and engineering in NCSES’s special report, Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering.

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