February 11, 2010
Taiwan’s longstanding unresolved international status keeps the island out of the United Nations and the World Health Organization and has been described by the District of Columbia U.S. Court of Appeals as caught in “political purgatory”. Taiwan’s purgatory extends to the United States Census Bureau.
Although the Census Bureau is making efforts to avoid an undercount of Taiwan-Americans, a perfect storm exists to cause a miscount. The Office of Management and Budget determines the Census race question resulting in an “apples and oranges” mixture of skin color, language, and nationality. Persons of Asian heritage are given a list of countries and islands to chose from except individuals from Taiwan.
Taiwanese-Americans who wish to be counted must check the “Other Asian” box and then write in Taiwanese. In the 2000 Census, 144,795 persons were counted as Taiwanese–but only on specialized tabulations of Asian respondents. For the general population tally Taiwanese respondents were counted as Chinese.
The Taiwanese American Association thinks the 2000 number should have been closer to a million based on information and data from the community. “We strongly believe that the Taiwanese [population] was undercounted in the 1990 and 2000 Census.” more …