The 2020 Census Campaign is a campaign to place a separate check off box for “Taiwanese” under the race question for the 2020 census form.


History of the Census Campaign

FAPA has campaigned to add a “Taiwanese” check off box under the race question on the centennial census form as early as the mid nineties. At the request of then FAPA President Chen Wen-yen to the Census Bureau to look into this issue, the Census Bureau then sought policy guidance from the State Department as part of their decision making process.

On July 29, 1997, the State Department replied in a memorandum to the Census Bureau stating that “…We believe that any listing of “Taiwanese” as a race in a Census questionnaire would inevitably raise sensitive political questions because it could be misinterpreted as official U.S. recognition of Taiwanese as a racial category that is separate from Chinese. This would be contrary to U.S. Government policy and U.S. national interests. Therefore, our position is that it would be inappropriate to list “Taiwanese” as a category of race separate from Chinese in the Census questionnaire….”

On February 10, 1998, the Census Bureau replied in a letter to then FAPA President Chen Wen-yen stating that “…it has no plans to include a separate category for Taiwanese in the race question….” and “…Additionally, the Department of State has requested that we do not place a “Taiwanese” category in the race question because it may cause diplomatic problems with the People’s Republic of China….”

Then on May 21, 1998, then FAPA President Chen Wen-yen appeared at a hearing as a witness to this issue before the Subcommittee on the Census of the Committee on Government Reform and Oversight in the House of Representatives.


Discrepancies of Taiwanese American Population

Unfortunately, no changes have been made under the race question of the last two centennial censuses on this issue. During this time, we have also discovered major discrepancies on Taiwanese American populations between different agencies. According to the 2010 Census, the population of Taiwanese Americans was 230,382.1 However, according to the 2014 Homeland Security data on Lawful Permanent Residents, the Taiwanese American population accumulated from 1950 to 2010 was 450,673.2

Clearly, there are severe discrepancies between Federal Agencies when counting the Taiwanese American population. The Census Bureau can no longer ignore this.

That is why we are requesting that the Census Bureau create a separate check off box for Taiwanese Americans on the 2020 Census form under the race question today.


Follow the link below to sign the 2020 Census Campaign Petition and send you petitions to:

FAPA at 552 7th Street S.E., Washington, D.C. 20003.

2020 Census Campaign Petition


¹East-West Center
²Yearbook of Immigration Statistics: 2014 Lawful Permanent Residents (Table 2)