Like a Like: Dispelling the "Younger Hawaiian Population" Statistics Myth

Nolan J. Malone, Kamehameha Schools

In response to claims of bias in reports of Native Hawaiian well-being statistics, this paper applies a simple methodology, age standardization, to selected measures of well-being to determine whether observed disparities among Native Hawaiians persist when controlling for age structure. Although age-standardizition of Census 2000 data reduced gaps between Native Hawaiians and the control population, non-Hispanic Whites, for most of the well-being measures examined, it did so only marginally: Native Hawaiians continue to exhibit significantly worse educational, health and economic disadvantages. These findings show no support for the hypothesis that the younger Native Hawaiian population age structure is the source of social, educational, health and economic disadvantages. These findings have substantial implications, both locally and globally, as supplements to the existing efforts of indigenous populations to create broader understanding (and responsible reporting) of native concerns with reliable and accurate data.

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Presented in Session 45: Demography of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders