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Data Brings to Life Asian Americans’ Digital Consumer Power for Congressional Leaders

3 minute read | August 2018

Asian American buying power has grown faster than that of any other group since 2000, and Asian American Millennials are driving the growth of the consumer segment’s influential digital voice. Given Asian American Millennials’ growing impact in the U.S., this demographic group was at the forefront of a recent congressional briefing co-hosted by Nielsen and the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS) on Capitol Hill.

At the briefing, leaders from Nielsen and APAICS were joined by a panel of experts that included elected officials and Millennials from various industries.

Mariko Carpenter speaks at recent congressional briefing
Mariko Carpenter, VP, Strategic Community Alliances, Nielsen, presented highlights from our sixth report on Asian American consumers.

At the briefing Mariko Carpenter, VP, Strategic Community Alliances, Nielsen, presented highlights from Asian Americans: Digital Lives and Growing Influence, our sixth report on Asian American consumers. The report emphasizes Asian Americans’ status as early-adopters of technology whose digital habits can be used to predict trends in the general market of media and technology. It also shows that Asian Americans are making a living as influencers and content creators on social media, as famous athletes and in many other occupations.

“Asian American Pacific Islanders are expanding their influence and voicing their preferences as customers, audiences and voters like never before,” said Carpenter.

Following the presentation, U.S. Congresswoman Grace Meng (D-NY) and Virginia Delegate Mark Keam (D) spoke on the importance of the report’s data in helping policymakers understand the digital lives of Asian American consumers and also took a big-picture look at what the numbers mean.

“I’m thrilled to see Asian Americans being recognized as leaders, trendsetters, and influencers across industries,” Rep. Meng said. “Our community is moving beyond traditionally pursued careers and branching into every sector of the U.S. economy. I hope this trend continues, and I hope more Asian Americans run for office than ever before as well. We have a voice, and I look forward to that voice being increasingly heard in the years to come.”

Virginia Delegate Mark Keam
Virginia Delegate Mark Keam (D) highlights the importance of Nielsen data in helping policymakers understand the digital lives of Asian American consumers.

“As a policymaker, I rely on the great reports that Nielsen produces on various trends,” Keam explained. “This latest report on Asian American consumers provides an optimistic story about who we are and where we are going in terms of our economic clout and educational/professional achievements. While our communities are extremely diverse, there is no doubt that as a collective group, Asian Americans are breaking new grounds and leading in many nontraditional areas. That’s an exciting story.”

The panel, which included representatives from National Public Radio, Purple Patch DC, and the International Leadership Foundation in addition to Keam and Meng, fielded questions on topics like how their Asian American identity influences their professional lives.

Madalene Mielke, President and CEO of APAICS, helped host the event. Mielke took over her current role in March after the retirement of leader Floyd Mori. She too expressed excitement over the findings of the report.

“This report does a great job of showing how Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) have penetrated barriers and become part of emerging markets in the digital arena,” Mielke noted. “The data shows the breadth of influence that some Millennial AAPIs now literally have at their fingertips. I look forward to seeing how AAPI participation and leadership in this blossoming industry continues to grow.”

This annual congressional convening with APAICS is part of our ongoing engagement efforts with policymakers to promote our insights and data on multicultural audiences. We also recently celebrated Asian Pacific American Heritage Month by supporting APAICS’ annual awards gala, which honors distinguished AAPI leaders who help strengthen its mission of building a political pipeline for the community.