Full Timeline of the TA Census Campaign (1980s-Present)

Timeline of the Taiwanese American Census Project

First initiated by the Taiwanese American Citizens League in 1987, the Taiwanese American Census Project is a national campaign that advocates for Taiwanese Americans to write in “Taiwanese” as their ethnicity on the U.S. Census. The goal of the project is to earn better representation and resources for the Taiwanese American community. The following is a timeline of the TA Census Campaign and the four campaigns that it has organized for each of the decennial U.S. Censuses since the campaign’s establishment in 1987. Clicking on the year heading will direct you to a more detailed page for each year’s campaign.


Campaign launched on January 8, 1987 by the Taiwanese American Citizens League (TACL) in preparation for 1990 census


Information from the TA Archives, describing this project:  “A video-based program introducing the impor­tance of the 1990 census for Taiwanese Ameri­cans was designed and produced mainly by TACL5s 1990 Census Committee. The video tapes, in Taiwanese, Mandarin, English and Hakka’s versions, were distributed across the country through local TACL chapters as well as other Taiwanese organizations.” (Source: TA Archives)


Informational Flyers created and distributed by the TACL Census Team to encourage people to write in “Taiwanese” on the census.

(Source: TA Archives)


Website for Census 2010: http://www.taiwaneseamerican.org/census2010/

Promotional Video (English with Chinese Subtitles)

(Source: taiwaneseamerican.org)

Quotes from 2010 Census website:


Every decade, the US CENSUS counts everyone residing in the United States — in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Island Areas– as mandated by the US Constitution. Beginning in March, CENSUS FORMS will be delivered to mailboxes. A key date to know is APRIL 1ST, or CENSUS DAY, the day of reference when filling in the form to account for everyone in your household. If the form is not mailed out, Census takers visit households door to door to record data between April and July 2010.

The WRITE IN “TAIWANESE” campaign was created in an effort to combat the vast undercount of Taiwanese in the United States. Recent projections estimate that there are over 1 MILLION Taiwanese in the United States, but the 2000 Census recorded only 144,795 people. Without a change in education and awareness, the Taiwanese population in the US will once again be overlooked and history shall be doomed to repeat itself in the 2010 US Census.


Census data is used to distribute CONGRESSIONAL SEATS to states, to make decisions about what COMMUNITY SERVICES to provide, and to distribute $400 BILLION in federal funds to local, state and tribal governments each year.

For Asian ethnicities such as Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Filipino, and Vietnamese, one is able to fill in a bubble to declare their ethnicity in the Census. However, for someone of Taiwanese descent to declare their ethnicity on the Census they need to fill in the bubble for “OTHER ASIAN” and then write in “TAIWANESE.” Many Taiwanese Americans and Taiwanese are unaware of this when filling out Census questionnaires. Census information is also protected by federal law to be kept safe and private.

By educating and encouraging families, young professionals, and college students alike to properly fill out the Census, we can achieve a larger and more accurate count. Thus, the VOICE OF TAIWANESE AMERICA will be more strongly considered by the POLITICAL, FINANCIAL, AND SOCIAL CONSCIOUSNESS of the United States of America.

…And maybe next time, “Taiwanese” won’t be listed as an “Other Asian”.

(Source: taiwaneseamerican.org)

(Source: TA Archives)


August 2016 – Peter Chen, President of the Formosan Association for Public Affairs (FAPA) publishes an article titled “Taiwanese-Americans want to be counted” in the Taipei Times. Read more


March 2017 – Representative Ted Lieu calls on the U.S. Census Bureau to include a “Taiwanese” check box on the 2020 Census. Read more


Official Website: http://tacl.org/census-2020/

Promotional Materials:

T-shirts and Sweatshirts

Designed in order to raise money for the census campaign. The T-shirts come in adult and youth unisex sizes, the sweatshirts come in adult unisex sizes and in 3 colors: maroon, navy, and black.

Social Media Platforms:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/write.in.taiwanese.census/


Other Promotional Events and Endorsements

Planning and Administration

2020 TA Census Campaign Budget

2020 TA Census Campaign Project Plan