Wolf Administration Unveils Report on Asian American and Pacific Islander Contributions to Pennsylvania Economy

Harrisburg, PA – Today, Chairman Bibhuti Aryal and Executive Director Tiffany Chang Lawson of the Governor’s Advisory Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs joined Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) secretary Dennis Davin and local leaders in Pittsburgh to unveil the “Power of the Purse: How Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders Contribute to the Pennsylvania Economy” report, paid for by the Partnership for a New American Economy Research Fund.

“This report is critically important to the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community to show that, while we still must continue to take every possible action to reduce poverty, violence, and health disparities, and improve language access services, the AAPI population has grown into a true economic driver in our community,” Chang Lawson said. “The point of the report is to shift the narrative and create a more accurate depiction of the width and breadth of our AAPI community, and how much we truly contribute to the fabric of Pennsylvania.”

The report outlines the massive positive economic impact of the growing AAPI population in Pennsylvania – including how AAPI immigrant households in Pennsylvania earned almost $11.4 billion in income in 2015, paid more than $2.3 billion in federal taxes, and more than $900 million in state and local taxes to the commonwealth. This left AAPI immigrants in Pennsylvania with more than $8.1 billion in spending power.

“As we’ve been working the past three years of this administration to accomplish our mission, we’re discovering more and more that to move our economy forward, we need to empower everyone, no matter their race, gender, sexual orientation, disabled or veteran status, or immigrant status,” Secretary Davin said. “That’s why events like this one are so important. The Governor’s Advisory Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs does an amazing job of recognizing everything that Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders bring to not just our culture, but our economy as well.”

The large AAPI economic impact numbers correlate with the rising AAPI population in Pennsylvania. Between 2000 and 2015, Pennsylvania saw its AAPI population more than double from just over 250,000 in the year 2000 to more than 504,000 in 2015. Additionally, nearly 21,000 Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in Pennsylvania are entrepreneurs – nearly nine in 10 of which are immigrants.

Read the full version of the Power of the Purse report. More information about the Governor’s Advisory Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs can be found on the commission’s website. For more information visit the DCED website and be sure to stay up-to-date with all of our agency news on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Tiffany Chang Lawson, Governor’s Advisory Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs, 717.787.5825

Michael Gerber, DCED, 717.783.1132

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