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Dear Arbitron, What about Asian Americans?

Arbitron makes no distinction between Asian Americans and any other group of non-Hispanic, non-African Americans in their sample.

That means Asian Americans fall into the vast category called “other,” a category without sub-categories and the sample goals those sub-categories might deserve.

In any given market there is no way to know whether Arbitron is properly representing the Asian American population or not. That means odds are overwhelming that they are not.

In many markets this may not make a significant difference to the consumers, the broadcasters, or the advertisers who reside and serve and sell in that market.

Many, but by no means all.

Consider this picture – it is a table from the 2010 US Census showing the metropolitan areas with the highest population of Asian Americans (greater than 250,000 people):

So Arbitron methodology may be good enough for some markets, but if representing significant minority populations is important for consumers, broadcasters, and advertisers, Arbitron’s methods are hardly good enough in Atlanta, Philadelphia, Dallas, Chicago, Riverside, Boston, Houston, Washington, New York, San Diego, Seattle, Sacramento, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose, or Honolulu.

If you are an Arbitron client or customer in any of these markets you should be hopping mad.

Asian Americans now make up 5.6 percent of the total American population. That’s up from 4.2 percent in 2000.

It seems patently absurd that we can have markets like San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, LA, San Jose, and Honolulu, where the Asian population is in the double-digits without recognition from Arbitron that these minorities even exist, let alone some meaningful attempt to measure them in proportions which match their market influence.

Arbitron, what do you have against Asian Americans?

Isn’t it time to measure the reality of America as it exists today?

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