By the year 2043, the United States will no longer have any majority race or ethnicity, increasingly reflecting a vision of a multicultural society. Asian Americans and Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders (NHPIs) are among the fastest-growing racial and ethnic populations in the United States, with families coming from more than 50 countries and speaking over a hundred languages and dialects. As our nation increases in diversity, the specific races and ethnicities of our people will continue to change and deepen in complexity, with a large proportion who are immigrants and refugees from all parts of the world. In all fields, but particularly in public health and medicine, communicating effectively with diverse populations and understanding who they are—their family origins, languages, and cultures—are fundamental to our work. Comprehensive and granular data are the lifeblood of how to understand trends in morbidity and mortality and the curative possibilities of improving the health of our increasingly diverse nation.
This newly created AJPH section on Surveillance and Survey Methods—and specifically the report by Paulose-Ram et al. (p.916 in this issue) about the data on Asian Americans in the 2011 to 2018 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES)—is an important milestone for Asian American and NHPI epidemiologists, researchers, providers, and community leaders who have been calling for improved collection, analysis, and dissemination of data for our communities. We look forward to the publication of more articles that push the methodological envelope, improve understanding about the social determinants of health, liberate public data sets, and inform data-driven public policies for our Asian American and NHPI populations, and for all of our nation’s diverse population.
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