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Race and ethnicity in the United States census, defined by the federal
Office of Management and Budget The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is the largest office within the Executive Office of the President of the United States The Executive Office of the President (EOP) comprises the offices and agencies that support the work of the pres ...
(OMB) and the
United States Census Bureau The United States Census Bureau (USCB), officially the Bureau of the Census, is a principal agency of the U.S. Federal Statistical System, responsible for producing data about the American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, ...
, are the
self-identified 300px, What does it take for a person to persist from moment to moment—for the same person to exist at different moments? Personal identity is the unique numerical identity of a person A person (plural people or persons) is a being that ha ...

self-identified
categories of race or races and ethnicity chosen by residents, with which they most closely identify, and indicate whether they are of
Hispanic The term ''Hispanic'' ( es, hispano) refers to people, cultures Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior Social behavior is behavior Behavior (American English) or behaviour (British English; American and B ...
or
Latino Latino or Latinos most often refers to: * Latino (demonym), a term used in the United States for people with cultural ties to Latin America * Hispanic and Latino Americans in the United States * The people or cultures of Latin America; ** Latin Am ...
origin (the only categories for ethnicity). The racial categories represent a social-political construct for the race or races that respondents consider themselves to be and, "generally reflect a social definition of race recognized in this country." OMB defines the concept of race as outlined for the U.S. census as not "scientific or anthropological" and takes into account "social and cultural characteristics as well as ancestry", using "appropriate scientific methodologies" that are not "primarily biological or genetic in reference." The race categories include both racial and national-origin groups. Race and
ethnicity An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people who identity (social science), identify with each other on the basis of shared attributes that distinguish them from other groups. Those attributes can include common sets of traditions, ancest ...
are considered separate and distinct identities, with
Hispanic or Latino The term ''Hispanic'' ( es, hispano or ) refers to people, cultures, or countries related to Spain, the Hispanidad, Spanish language, Spanish culture, culture, or Spanish people, people. The term commonly applies to countries with a cultural and ...
origin asked as a separate question. Thus, in addition to their race or races, all respondents are categorized by membership in one of two ethnic categories, which are "Hispanic or Latino" and "Not Hispanic or Latino". However, the practice of separating "race" and "ethnicity" as different categories has been criticized both by the
American Anthropological Association The American Anthropological Association (AAA) is an organization of scholars and practitioners in the field of anthropology Anthropology is the Science, scientific study of humanity, concerned with human behavior, human biology, cultures, an ...
and members of US Commission on Civil Rights. In 1997, OMB issued a
Federal Register The ''Federal Register'' (FR or sometimes Fed. Reg.) is the official journal A government gazette (also known as official gazette, official journal, official newspaper, official monitor or official bulletin) is a periodical publication that h ...
notice regarding revisions to the standards for the classification of federal data on race and ethnicity. OMB developed race and ethnic standards in order to provide "consistent data on race and ethnicity throughout the
Federal Government A federation (also known as a federal state) is a political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organized by some form of Institutionalisation, institutionalized ...
. The development of the data standards stem in large measure from new responsibilities to enforce civil rights laws." Among the changes, OMB issued the instruction to "mark one or more races" after noting evidence of increasing numbers of interracial children and wanting to capture the diversity in a measurable way and having received requests by people who wanted to be able to acknowledge their or their children's full ancestry rather than identifying with only one group. Prior to this decision, the census and other government data collections asked people to report only one race.


How data on race and ethnicity are used

The OMB states, "many federal programs are put into effect based on the race data obtained from the decennial census (i.e., promoting equal employment opportunities; assessing racial disparities in health and environmental risks). Race data are also critical for the basic research behind many policy decisions. States require these data to meet legislative redistricting requirements. The data are needed to monitor compliance with the Voting Rights Act by local jurisdictions". "Data on ethnic groups are important for putting into effect a number of federal statutes (i.e., enforcing bilingual election rules under the Voting Rights Act; monitoring and enforcing equal employment opportunities under the Civil Rights Act). Data on Ethnic Groups are also needed by local governments to run programs and meet legislative requirements (i.e., identifying segments of the population who may not be receiving medical services under the
Public Health ActPublic Health Act is a stock short titleIn certain jurisdictions, including the United Kingdom and other Westminster-influenced jurisdictions (such as Canada or Australia), as well as the United States and the Philippines, primary legislation has bot ...
; evaluating whether financial institutions are meeting the credit needs of minority populations under the
Community Reinvestment Act The Community Reinvestment Act (CRA, P.L. 95-128, 91 Stat. 1147, title VIII of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1977, ''et seq.'') is a United States federal law The law of the United States comprises many levels of codified and uncod ...
)."


Brief overview of race and ethnicity in U.S. census history


18th and 19th centuries


1790 census

The
1790 United States census The United States Census of 1790 was the first census A census is the procedure of systematically calculating, acquiring and recording information Information is processed, organised and structured data. It provides context for data and ...
was the first
census A census is the procedure of systematically calculating, acquiring and recording information Information is processed, organised and structured data Data (; ) are individual facts, statistics, or items of information, often numeric. In ...
in the history of the United States. The population of the United States was recorded as 3,929,214 as of
Census Day A census is the procedure of systematically calculating, acquiring and recording information Information is processed, organised and structured data. It provides context for data and enables decision making process. For example, a single cus ...

Census Day
, August 2, 1790, as mandated by Article I, Section 2 of the
United States Constitution The Constitution of the United States is the Supremacy Clause, supreme law of the United States, United States of America. This founding document, originally comprising seven articles, delineates the national frame of government. Its first ...
and applicable laws. "The law required that every household be visited, that completed census schedules be posted in two of the most public places within each jurisdiction, there to remain for the inspection of all concerned, and that 'the aggregate amount of each description of persons' for every district be transmitted to the
president President most commonly refers to: *President (corporate title) A president is a leader of an organization, company, community, club, trade union, university or other group. The relationship between a president and a Chief Executive Officer, chi ...

president
." This law along with U.S. marshals were responsible for governing the census.


=Loss of data

= About one-third of the original census data have been lost or destroyed since documentation. The data were lost in 1790–1830, and included data from Connecticut,
Maine Maine () is a U.S. state, state in the New England region of the United States, bordered by New Hampshire to the west; the Gulf of Maine to the southeast; and the Provinces and territories of Canada, Canadian provinces of New Brunswick and Qu ...

Maine
, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont, Delaware, Georgia, New Jersey, and Virginia; however, the census was proven factual and the existence of most of these data can be confirmed in many secondary sources pertaining to the first census.


=Data

= Census data included the name of the head of the family and categorized inhabitants as: free white males at least 16 years of age (to assess the country's industrial and military potential), free white males under 16 years of age, free white females, all other free persons (reported by sex and color), and slaves.
Thomas Jefferson Thomas Jefferson (April 13, 1743 – July 4, 1826) was an American statesman, diplomat, lawyer, architect, philosopher, and who served as the third from 1801 to 1809. He had previously served as the second under and as the first under ...

Thomas Jefferson
, then the Secretary of State, directed marshals to collect data from all 13 states (
Connecticut Connecticut () is the southernmost state in the New England region of the United States. As of the 2010 United States census, 2010 Census, it has the highest per-capita income, second-highest level of List of U.S. states and territories by H ...
,
Delaware Delaware ( ) is a state in the Mid-Atlantic (United States), Mid-Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Maryland to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and New Jersey and the Atlantic Ocean to its east. The state takes i ...
,
Georgia Georgia usually refers to: * Georgia (country), a country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia * Georgia (U.S. state), one of the states of the United States of America Georgia may also refer to: Historical states and entities * Democratic Republ ...
,
Maryland Maryland ( ) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper ...

Maryland
,
Massachusetts Massachusetts (, ), officially the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is the most populous state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * T ...

Massachusetts
,
New Hampshire New Hampshire ( ) is a U.S. state, state in the New England region of the United States. It is bordered by Massachusetts to the south, Vermont to the west, Maine and the Gulf of Maine to the east, and the Canadian province of Quebec to the nor ...

New Hampshire
,
New Jersey New Jersey is a U.S. state, state in the Mid-Atlantic States, Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern United States, Northeastern regions of the United States. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York (state), New York; on the ea ...
,
New York New York most commonly refers to: * New York City, the most populous city in the United States, located in the state of New York * New York (state), a state in the Northeastern United States New York may also refer to: Film and television * New ...
,
North Carolina North Carolina () is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily news ...

North Carolina
,
Pennsylvania Pennsylvania ( , elsewhere ; pdc, Pennsilfaani), officially the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, is a landlocked A landlocked country is a country that does not have territory connected to an ocean or whose coastlines lie on endorheic basi ...

Pennsylvania
,
Rhode Island Rhode Island (, like ''road''), officially the State of Rhode Island, is a state in the New England New England is a region comprising six states in the Northeastern United States The Northeastern United States (also referred to as t ...
,
South Carolina South Carolina () is a U.S. state, state in the coastal Southeastern United States, Southeastern region of the United States. It is bordered to the north by North Carolina, to the southeast by the Atlantic Ocean, and to the southwest by Georgia ...

South Carolina
, and
Virginia Virginia (), officially the Commonwealth of Virginia, is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), '' ...

Virginia
), and from the
Southwest Territory The Territory South of the River Ohio, more commonly known as the Southwest Territory, was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from May 26, 1790, until June 1, 1796, when it was admitted to the United States a ...
. The census was not conducted in
Vermont Vermont () is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in ...

Vermont
until 1791, after that state's
admission to the Union The Admission to the Union Clause of the United States Constitution, also called the New States Clause, found at Article IV, Section 3, Clause 1, authorizes the U.S. Congress to admit new states into the Union (beyond the thirteen alread ...
as the 14th state on March 4 of that year.


=Contemporary perception

= Some doubt surrounded the numbers, as President
George Washington George Washington (February 22, 1732, 1799) was an American soldier, statesman, and Founding Fathers of the United States, Founding Father who served as the first President of the United States from 1789 to 1797. Appointed by the Continenta ...

George Washington
and Thomas Jefferson maintained the population was undercounted. The potential reasons Washington and Jefferson may have thought this could be refusal to participate, poor public transportation and roads, spread-out population, and restraints of current technology.


=Data availability

= No microdata from the 1790 population census are available, but
aggregate data Aggregate data is high-level data Data are units of information Information can be thought of as the resolution of uncertainty; it answers the question of "What an entity is" and thus defines both its essence and the nature of its cha ...
for small areas and their compatible cartographic boundary files, can be downloaded from the
National Historical Geographic Information System The National Historical Geographic Information System (NHGIS) is a historical GIS project to create and freely disseminate a database incorporating all available aggregate United States Census, census information for the United States between Uni ...
.


1800 and 1810 census

In 1800 and 1810, the age question regarding free white males was more detailed.


1820 census

The 1820 census built on the questions asked in 1810 by asking age questions about slaves. Also the term "colored" entered the census nomenclature. In addition, a question stating "Number of foreigners not naturalized" was included.


1830 census

In the 1830 census, a new question, which stated, "The number of White persons who were foreigners not naturalized" was included.


1850 census

The 1850 census had a dramatic shift in the way information about residents was collected. For the first time, free persons were listed individually instead of by head of household. Two questionnaires were used - one for free inhabitants and one for slaves. The question on the free inhabitants schedule about color was a column that was to be left blank if a person were white, marked "B" if a person were black, and marked "M" if a person were
mulatto Mulatto (, ) is a racial classification A race is a grouping of humans based on shared physical or social qualities into categories generally viewed as distinct by society. The term was first used to refer to speakers of a common language ...

mulatto
. Slaves were listed by owner, and classified by gender and age, not individually, and the question about color was a column that was to be marked with a "B" if the slave were black and an "M" if mulatto.


1890 census

For 1890, the Census Office changed the design of the population questionnaire. Residents were still listed individually, but a new questionnaire sheet was used for each family. Additionally, this was the first year that the census distinguished among different Asian ethnic groups, such as
Japanese Japanese may refer to: * Something from or related to Japan , image_flag = Flag of Japan.svg , alt_flag = Centered deep red circle on a white rectangle , image_coat = Imperial Seal of J ...
and
Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, world's most populous country, with a populat ...

Chinese
, due to increased immigration. This census also marked the beginning of the term "race" in the questionnaires. Enumerators were instructed to write "White", "Black", "
Mulatto Mulatto (, ) is a racial classification A race is a grouping of humans based on shared physical or social qualities into categories generally viewed as distinct by society. The term was first used to refer to speakers of a common language ...

Mulatto
", "
Quadroon In the slave societies of the Americas, a quadroon or quarteron was a person with one quarter African and three quarters European ancestry (or in Australia, one quarter aboriginal ancestry). Similar classifications were octoroon for one-eight ...
", "
Octoroon In the slave societies of the Americas The Americas (also collectively called America) is a landmass comprising the totality of North and South America South America is a continent entirely in the Western Hemisphere and mostly i ...
", "Chinese", "Japanese", or "
Indian Indian or Indians refers to people or things related to India, or to the indigenous people of the Americas, or Aboriginal Australians until the 19th century. People South Asia * Indian people, people of Indian nationality, or people who come ...
".


1900 census

During 1900, the "Color or Race" question was slightly modified, removing the term "Mulatto". Also, there was an inclusion of an "Indian Population Schedule" in which "enumerators were instructed to use a special expanded questionnaire for American Indians living on reservations or in family groups off of reservations." This expanded version included the question "Fraction of person's lineage that is white."


20th century


1910 census

The 1910 census was similar to that of 1900, but it included a reinsertion of "Mulatto" and a question about the "mother tongue" of foreign-born individuals and individuals with foreign-born parents. "Ot" was also added to signify "other races", with space for a race to be written in. This decade's version of the Indian Population Schedule featured questions asking the individual's proportion of white, black, or American Indian lineage.


1920 census

The 1920 census questionnaire was similar to 1910, but excluded a separate schedule for Indigenous Americas. "Hin", "Kor", and "Fil" were also added to the "Color or Race" question, signifying Hindustani (South Asia Indian), Korean, and Filipino, respectively.


1930 census

The biggest change in this census was in racial classification. Enumerators were instructed to no longer use the "Mulatto" classification. Instead, they were given special instructions for reporting the race of interracial persons. A person with both white and black ancestry (termed "blood") was to be recorded as "Negro", no matter the fraction of that lineage (the "
one-drop rule The one-drop rule is a social and legal principle of racial classification that was historically prominent in the United States in the 20th century. It asserted that any person with even one ancestor of black ancestry ("one drop" of black blood)Dav ...
"). A person of mixed black and American Indian ancestry was also to be recorded as "Neg" (for "Negro") unless they were considered to be "predominantly" American Indian and accepted as such within the community. A person with both white and American Indian ancestry was to be recorded as American Indian, unless their Indigenous ancestry was small, and they were accepted as white within the community. In all situations in which a person had white and some other racial ancestry, they were to be reported as that other race. People who had minority interracial ancestry were to be reported as the race of their father. For the first and only time, "Mexican" was listed as a race. Enumerators were instructed that all people born in Mexico, or whose parents were born in Mexico, should be listed as Mexicans, and not under any other racial category. In prior censuses and in 1940, enumerators were instructed to list Mexican Americans as white, perhaps because some of them were of white background (mainly Spanish), many others mixed white and Native American and some of them Native American. The Supplemental American Indian questionnaire was back, but in abbreviated form. It featured a question asking if the person was of full or mixed American Indian ancestry.


1940 census

President
Franklin D. Roosevelt Franklin Delano Roosevelt (, ; January 30, 1882April 12, 1945), often referred to by his initials FDR, was an American politician who served as the 32nd president of the United States from 1933 until his death in 1945. A member of the De ...

Franklin D. Roosevelt
promoted a "good neighbor" policy that sought better relations with Mexico. In 1935, a federal judge ruled that three Mexican immigrants were ineligible for citizenship because they were not white, as required by federal law. Mexico protested, and Roosevelt decided to circumvent the decision and make sure the federal government treated Hispanics as white. The State Department, the Census Bureau, the Labor Department, and other government agencies therefore made sure to uniformly classify people of Mexican descent as white. This policy encouraged the
League of United Latin American Citizens The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the largest and oldest Hispanic civil rights Civil and political rights are a class of rights that protect individuals' political freedom, freedom from infringement by governments, social ...
in its quest to minimize discrimination by asserting their whiteness. The 1940 census was the first to include separate population and housing questionnaires. The race category of "Mexican" was eliminated in 1940, and the population of Mexican descent was counted with the white population.The 1930 Census in Perspective
1930census.com
1940 census data was used for
Japanese American internment In the United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country in . It consists of 50 , a , five major , 326 , and some . At , it is the world's . The United ...
. The Census Bureau's role was denied for decades, but was finally proven in 2007.


1950 census

The 1950 census questionnaire removed the word "color" from the racial question, and also removed Hindu and Korean from the race choices.


1960 census

The 1960 census re-added the word "color" to the racial question, and changed "Indian" to "American Indian", as well as adding Hawaiian, Part-Hawaiian, Aleut, and Eskimo. The "Other (print out race)" option was removed.


1970 census

This year's census included "Negro or Black", re-added Korean and the Other race option. East Indians (the term used at that time for people whose ancestry is from the Indian subcontinent) were counted as White. There was a questionnaire that was asked of only a sample of respondents. These questions were as follows:
#
  • a. Where was this person born?
  • #
  • b. Is this person's origin or descent...
  • # #
  • Mexican Mexican may refer to: Mexico and its culture *Being related to, from, or connected to the country of Mexico, in North America ** Being related to the State of Mexico, one of the 32 federal entities of Mexico ** Culture of Mexico *** Mexican cuisi ...

    Mexican
  • #
  • Puerto Rican
  • #
  • Cuban Cuban may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to Cuba, a country in the Caribbean * Cubans, people from Cuba, or of Cuban descent ** Cuban exile, a person who left Cuba for political reasons, or a descendant thereof * Cuban citizen, a person ...

    Cuban
  • #
  • Central Central is an adjective usually referring to being in the center (disambiguation), center of some place or (mathematical) object. Central may also refer to: Directions and generalised locations * Central Africa, a region in the centre of Africa ...

    Central
    or
    South America South America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geographical regions are commonly regarded as continent ...

    South America
    n
  • #
  • Other
    Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (disambiguation), the name of several ...
  • #
  • None of These
  • # What country was the person's father born in? # What country was the person's mother born in? # a. For persons born in a foreign country – Is the person naturalized? #b When did the person come to the United States to stay? # What
    language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the ...

    language
    , other than
    English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World language, leading lan ...

    English
    , was spoken in the person's home as a child? #
    Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (disambiguation), the name of several ...

    Spanish
    # #
    Italian Italian may refer to: * Anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Italy ** Italians, an ethnic group or simply a citizen of the Italian Republic ** Italian language, a Romance language *** Regional Italian, regional variants of the ...

    Italian
    #
    German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law * German language The German la ...

    German
    #Other #None, only English


    1980 census

    This year added several options to the race question, including Vietnamese, Indian (East), Guamanian, Samoan, and re-added Aleut. Again, the term "color" was removed from the racial question, and the following questions were asked of a sample of respondents:
    #
  • In what state or foreign country was the person born?
  • # If this person was born in a foreign country... #a. Is this person a naturalized citizen of the United States? #b. When did this person come to the United States to stay? # a. Does this person speak a language other than English at home? #b. If yes, what is this language? #c. If yes, how well does this person speak English? # What is this person's ancestry?


    1990 census

    The racial categories in this year are as they appear in the 2000 and 2010 censuses. The following questions were asked of a sample of respondents for the 1990 Census:
    #
  • In what U.S. State or foreign country was this person born?
  • # Is this person a citizen of the United States? # If this person was not born in the United States, when did this person come to the United States to stay?
    The 1990 census was not designed to capture multiple racial responses, and when individuals marked the "'other" race option and provided a multiple write-in, the response was assigned according to the race written first. "For example, a write-in of "black-white" was assigned a code of "black," while a write-in of "white-black" was assigned a code of "white."
    ''In the
    United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...

    United States
    , census data indicate that the number of children in interracial families grew from less than one half million in 1970 to about two million in 1990. In 1990, for interracial families with one
    white American White Americans are Americans Americans are the citizens and nationals Nationals may refer to: * People of a given nationality * A tournament or convention of national scope * Washington Nationals, a Major League Baseball team based in ...
    partner, the other parent. was
    Asian American Asian Americans are Americans Americans are the and of the .; ; ''Ricketts v. Attorney General''897 F.3d 491, 494 n.3 (3d Cir. 2018) (" and are not ous. While all citizens are nationals, not all nationals are citizens."); ''United Sta ...
    for 45 percent...''


    2000 census

    Race was asked differently in the 2000 census in several other ways than previously. Most significantly, respondents were given the option of selecting one or more race categories to indicate racial identities. Data show that nearly seven million Americans identified as members of two or more races. Because of these changes, the 2000 census data on race are not directly comparable with data from the 1990 census or earlier censuses. Use of caution is therefore recommended when interpreting changes in the racial composition of the US population over time. The following definitions apply to the 2000 census only. *
    White White is the lightest color and is achromatic (having no hue). It is the color of snow, chalk, and milk, and is the opposite of black. White objects fully diffuse reflection, reflect and scattering, scatter all the visible spectrum, visible wa ...
    . A person having origins in any of the original peoples of
    Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geographical regions are commonly regarded as continents. Ordered ...

    Europe
    , the . It includes people who indicate their race as "white-skinned people" or report entries such as Irish, German, English, Scandinavian, Scottish, Near Easterners, Iranian, Lebanese, or Polish. *
    Black or African American Black is a color which results from the absence or complete Absorption (electromagnetic radiation), absorption of visible spectrum, visible light. It is an achromatic color, without hue, like white and gray. It is often used symbolically or fig ...
    . A person having origins in any of the black racial groups of
    Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent, after Asia in both cases. At about 30.3 million km2 (11.7 million square miles) including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of Earth's total surface area and 20% of i ...

    Africa
    . It includes people who indicate their race as "Black, African Am." or provide written entries such as Kenyan, Nigerian, or Haitian. * American Indian and Alaska Native. A person having origins in any of the original peoples of North and South America (including Central America) and who maintain tribal affiliation or community attachment. *
    Asian Asian may refer to: * Items from or related to the continent of Asia: ** Asian people, people in or descending from Asia ** Asian culture, the culture of the people from Asia ** Asian cuisine, food based on the style of food of the people from Asi ...
    . A person having origins in any of the original peoples of the
    Far East The Far East is a term to refer to the geographical regions that includes East and Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is the geographical southeaster ...
    ,
    Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is the geographical United Nations geoscheme for Asia#South-eastern Asia, southeastern subregion of Asia, consisting of the regions ...

    Southeast Asia
    , or the Indian subcontinent including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippine Islands, Thailand, and Vietnam. It includes "Asian Indian", "Chinese", "Filipino", "Korean", "Japanese", "Vietnamese", and "Other Asian". * Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander. A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Hawaii, Guam, Samoa, or other
    Pacific Islands This is a list of islands in the Pacific Ocean, collectively called the Pacific Islands. Three major groups of island An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habitat that is surrounded by a dramatically different habitat, such as w ...
    . It includes people who indicate their race as "Native Hawaiian", "Guamanian or Chamorro", "Samoan", and "Other Pacific Islander". * Some other race. Includes all other responses not included in the "Caucasian", "Black or African American", "American Indian and Alaska Native", "Asian" and "Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander" race categories described above. Respondents providing write-in entries such as multiracial, mixed, interracial, We-Sort, or a Hispanic/Latino group (for example, Mexican, Puerto Rican, or Cuban) in the "Some other race" category are included here. * Two or more races. People may have chosen to provide two or more races either by checking two or more race response check boxes, by providing multiple write-in responses, or by some combination of check boxes and write-in responses. The
    federal government of the United States The federal government of the United States (U.S. federal government or U.S. government) is the national government of the United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or U ...
    has mandated that "in data collection and presentation, federal agencies are required to use a minimum of two ethnicities: "Hispanic or Latino" and "Not Hispanic or Latino". The Census Bureau defines "Hispanic or Latino" as "a person of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American or other Spanish culture or origin regardless of race." For discussion of the meaning and scope of the Hispanic or Latino ethnicity, see the
    Hispanic and Latino Americans Hispanic and Latino Americans ( es, Estadounidenses hispanos y latinos; pt, Estadunidenses hispânicos e latinos) are Americans Americans are the and of the .; ; ''Ricketts v. Attorney General''897 F.3d 491, 494 n.3 (3d Cir. 2018) ( ...
    and Racial and ethnic demographics of the United States articles. Use of the word "ethnicity" for Hispanics only is considerably more restricted than its conventional meaning, which covers other distinctions, some of which are covered by the "race" and "ancestry" questions. The distinct questions accommodate the possibility of Hispanic and Latino Americans' also declaring various racial identities (see also white-skinned Hispanic and Latino Americans,
    Asian Hispanic and Latino Americans Asian Hispanic and Latino Americans are Americans Americans are the Citizenship of the United States, citizens and United States nationality law, nationals of the United States of America.; ; ''Ricketts v. Attorney General''897 F.3d 491, 494 ...
    , and Black Hispanic and Latino Americans). In the 2000 census, 12.5% of the US population reported "Hispanic or Latino" ethnicity and 87.5% reported "Not-Hispanic or Latino" ethnicity.


    21st century


    2010 census

    The 2010 U.S. census included changes designed to more clearly distinguish Hispanic ethnicity as not being a race. That included adding the sentence: "For this census, Hispanic origins are not races." Additionally, the Hispanic terms were modified from "Hispanic or Latino" to "Hispanic, Latino or
    Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (disambiguation), the name of several ...
    origin".Waite, Preston. US Census Bureau.
    2010 Decennial Census Program
    " 2006. accessed July 7, 2008.
    Although used in the census and the American Community Survey, "Some other race" is not an official race, and the Bureau considered eliminating it prior to the 2000 census. As the 2010 census form did not contain the question titled "Ancestry" found in prior censuses, there were campaigns to get non-Hispanic
    West Indian Americans West Indian Americans or Caribbean Americans are Americans who can trace their ancestry to the Caribbean, unless they are of native descent. As of 2016, about 13 million — about 4% of the total U.S. population — have Caribbean ancestry. T ...
    ,
    Turkish Americans Turkish Americans or American Turks ( tr, Amerikalı Türkler) are Americans Americans are the Citizenship of the United States, citizens and United States nationality law, nationals of the United States of America.; ; ''Ricketts v. Attorn ...
    ,
    Armenian Americans Armenian Americans ( hy, ամերիկահայեր, ''amerikahayer'') are citizens or residents of the United States who have total or partial Armenian ancestry. They form the second largest community of the Armenian diaspora after Armenians ...
    ,
    Arab Americans Arab Americans ( ar, عَرَبٌ أَمْرِيكِا or ) are American citizens of Arab The Arabs (singular Arab ; singular ar, عَرَبِيٌّ, ISO 233: , Arabic pronunciation: , plural ar, عَرَبٌ, ISO 233: , Arabic pronuncia ...
    and
    Iranian Americans Iranian Americans are who are of or who hold ian . Iranian Americans are among the most highly educated people in the United States. They have historically excelled in business, academia, science, the arts, and entertainment. Most Iranian Am ...
    to indicate their ethnic or national background through the race question, specifically the "Some other race" category. The Interagency Committee has suggested that the concept of marking multiple boxes be extended to the Hispanic origin question, thereby freeing individuals from having to choose between their parents' ethnic heritages. In other words, a respondent could choose both "Hispanic or Latino" and "Not Hispanic or Latino".


    2020 census


    Relation between ethnicity and race in census results

    The Census Bureau warns that data on race in 2000 census are not directly comparable to those collected in previous censuses. Many residents of the United States consider race and ethnicity to be the same. In the 2000 census, respondents were tallied in each of the race groups they reported. Consequently, the total of each racial category exceeds the total population because some people reported more than one race. According to James P. Allen and Eugene Turner from California State University, Northridge, by some calculations in the 2000 census the largest part white biracial population is white/Native American and Alaskan Native, at 7,015,017, followed by white/black at 737,492, then white/Asian at 727,197, and finally white/Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander at 125,628. The Census Bureau implemented a Census Quality Survey, gathering data from about 50,000 households to assess the reporting of race and Hispanic origin in the 2000 census with the purpose of creating a way to make comparisons between the 2000 census with previous census racial data. In September 1997, during the process of revision of racial categories previously declared by OMB directive no. 15, the
    American Anthropological Association The American Anthropological Association (AAA) is an organization of scholars and practitioners in the field of anthropology Anthropology is the Science, scientific study of humanity, concerned with human behavior, human biology, cultures, an ...
    (AAA) recommended that OMB combine the "race" and "ethnicity" categories into one question to appear as "race/ethnicity" for the 2000 census. The Interagency Committee agreed, stating that "race" and "ethnicity" were not sufficiently defined and "that many respondents conceptualize 'race' and 'ethnicity' as one in the same underscorthe need to consolidate these terms into one category, using a term that is more meaningful to the American people." The AAA also stated, The recommendations of the AAA were not adopted by the Census Bureau for the 2000 or the 2010 censuses. The OMB definitions of race and ethnicity in Census 2020 will remain consistent with Census 2010. This includes Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin, which will remain an ethnicity, not a race. While race/ethnicity definitions for 2020 will remain consistent, individuals who identify as White, Black/African American, and/or American Indian or Alaska Native will be asked to specifically identify their racial origins.


    Other agencies

    In 2001, the
    National Institutes of Health The National Institutes of Health (NIH ) is the primary agency of the United States government The federal government of the United States (U.S. federal government or U.S. government) is the national government of the United States ...
    adopted the new language to comply with the revisions to Directive 15, as did the
    Equal Employment Opportunity Commission The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is a federal agency that was established via the Civil Rights Act of 1964 The Civil Rights Act of 1964 () is a landmark civil rights and United States labor law, labor law in the Un ...
    of the
    United States Department of Labor The United States Department of Labor (DOL) is a cabinet-level department of the U.S. federal government, responsible for occupational safety and health Occupational safety and health (OSH), also commonly referred to as occupational health ...
    in 2007.Final Revisions of the Employer Information Report (EEO-1)
    by the EEOC. The page contains links to
    FAQ A frequently asked questions (FAQ) list is often used in articles, websites, email lists, and online forums where common questions tend to recur, for example through posts or queries by new users related to common knowledge gaps. The purpose ...

    FAQ
    s, forms, and instructions


    See also

    *
    Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood A Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood or Certificate of Degree of Alaska Native Blood (both abbreviated CDIB) is an official U.S. document that certifies an individual possesses a specific fraction of Native American ancestry of a federally rec ...
    *
    Classification of ethnicity in the United Kingdom A number of different systems of classification of ethnicity in the United Kingdom exist. These schemata have been the subject of debate, including about the nature of ethnicity An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people who ident ...
    * Historical racial and ethnic demographics of the United States *
    Judicial aspects of race in the United States Legislation seeking to direct relations between racial or ethnic groups in the United States has had several historical phases, developing from the European colonization of the Americas Although the Norse had explored and colonized northeaste ...
    * Language Spoken at Home *
    Race (human classification) A race is a categorization of human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposable thumbs, hairlessness, and intelligence allowing the use of culture, language a ...
    *
    Race and ethnicity in censuses Many countries and national census A census is the procedure of systematically enumerating, and acquiring and recording information about the members of a given Statistical population, population. This term is used mostly in connection with Popul ...
    *
    Race and ethnicity in the United States The United States of America The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, stat ...
    *
    Racial segregation in the United States Racial segregation in the United States is the racial segregation, segregation of facilities and services such as housing, medical care, education, employment, and transportation in the United States along Race in the United States, racial lines. ...
    *
    Visible minority A visible minority () is defined by the Government of Canada as "persons, other than aboriginal peoples, who are non-Caucasian in race or non-white in colour". The term is used primarily as a demographic category by Statistics Canada, in connect ...


    References


    Further reading

    * * Prewitt, Kenneth. ''What Is Your Race? The Census and Our Flawed Efforts to Classify Americans'' (Princeton University Press; 2013) argues for dropping the race question from the census. * {{Demographics of the United States Demographics of the United States Race in the United States United States census