Caribbean Americans are African Americans

Race (United States Census)

The classifications of Race and ethnicity in the United States Census are definitions established by the United States Census Bureau and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) of the United States Federal Government. It is a categorization that people in the United States use to classify themselves when completing census questionnaires. They choose one or more of the “races” with which they identify most closely. They must also state whether they are Hispanic or Latino by origin or not.[1] The categorization of the “race” corresponds to this self-disclosure, but also represents the general one "Social definition of the 'races' recognized in [the United States] ...".[2]

The Office of Management and Budget does not define the concept set out in the census as "Scientific or anthropological",[3] but taken into account "Both social and cultural characteristics and origin",[3] in which "Appropriate scientific methodologies",[3] be taken into account, but not in the "Primarily biological or genetic reference".[3] “Race” and ethnicity are viewed as independent and different characteristics and Hispanic origin is asked separately. As a result, all residents are classified into one of two ethnic groups: Hispanic-or-Latino and non-Hispanic-or-Latino. The criteria first used in the United States Census 2000 were established in 1997 by the Office of Management and Budget.[4]

Census 2000


The 2000 census asked about the “race” in a different way than was previously asked. The most obvious difference was that the respondents were given the opportunity to select not just one but several racial categories to define their self-image. The data analysis then showed that almost seven million Americans feel they belong to two or more “races”. Because of these changes, the results of the 2000 census are not directly comparable with the results of previous censuses. Caution must therefore be exercised when interpreting changes in the composition of the US population in terms of membership in a “race”.

The term “race” in various US censuses
The 7th census in 1850 asked about skin color[5] and enabled the answers:
The 10th census in 1880 asked about skin color[6] and offered these options:
  • White
  • black
  • mulatto
  • Chinese
  • Indian
The 22nd Census in 2000 had a "short form"[7] which each contained a question about ethnicity and race:

1. Is the person Spanish / Hispanic / Latino?

  • No, not spanish / hispanic / latino
  • Yes, Mexican, Mexican-American, Chicano
  • yes, Puerto Rican
  • yes, Cuban
  • yes, different spanish / hispanic / latino (name group)

2. What is the “race” of the person?

  • Whiter
  • Black or African-American
  • Indigenous Americans (name tribe)
  • Asian Indian
  • Chinese
  • Filipino
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Vietnamese
  • Hawaiians
  • Guamer or Chamorro
  • Samoans
  • Other Pacific Islanders (to name)
  • Other "race" (name)

The following definitions refer only to the 2000 Census.[8]

  • The term "White American" (White) refers to people whose origins can be traced back to any original group in Europe, the Middle East or North Africa. It groups together people who describe themselves as whites or who make entries such as German-American, Italian-American, Irish, British, Arab-American or Polish-American.
  • The term "Black or Afro-American" (Black or African American) refers to people who are one of the black ethnic groups of Africa. It includes people who describe themselves as black or African-American, as well as making entries such as Caribbean-Americans, Haitians, Nigerians or Kenyans.
  • "Indigenous Americans" (American Indian and Alaska Native) are people whose origin is one of the original peoples of North or South America and who still see themselves as a tribal member (Indians of North America including Alaska).
  • "Asians" (Asian) are people whose origins are the peoples of East Asia, South Asia or Southeast Asia, for example in Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Pakistan, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand or Vietnam. It includes names such as "Indian-American", "Chinese-American", Filipino, "Korean-American", "Japanese-American" and "other Asians".
  • The term "Pacific Islander" (Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander) refers to people with origins in one of the ethnic groups that originally inhabited the islands in the Pacific Ocean, such as Hawaii, Guam or Samoa. This also includes mentions such as indigenous Hawaiians, Guamers, Samoa-Americans or Chamorro. According to the US Census, Aborigines belong to this breed.[9][10]
  • As "Other races" (other race) all answers are counted that do not fit into one of the other groups. This classification is primarily intended for answers such as mulatto, creole or mestizo.[11] Nine-tenths of those who fall into this group say they are Hispanics.[12]
  • The introduction "Two or more races" (Two or more races) refers to people who belong to multiple “races”. According to the definition of the US Census, these are those who ticked two or more “races”, gave several statements in the wording or used a combination thereof.


The US federal government requires that "In collecting and presenting data, federal agencies use at least two races: 'Hispanic or Latino' and 'Non-Hispanic or Latino'."[13] The Office of Management and Budget 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”.[13]

The use of the word ethnicity only with regard to Hispanic origin is therefore much more restricted than the usual understanding of the word, the actual distinctions of which are reflected in the census questionnaire in the questions about "race" and origin. This distinction enables Hispanics in the United States to express their different identities in terms of skin color.

In the United States Census 2000, 12.5% ​​of the US population declared to be of the Hispanic or Latino ethnic group.[13]

Result of the 2000 census: ethnicity according to "race"

The United States Census 2000 gave the following result with regard to ethnicity:

"Race" Hispano or
% the
H / L
% the
United States
or -Latino
% the
H / L
% the
United States
All 35.305.81810012,5246.116.08810087,5
A "race": 33.081.73693,711,8241.513.94298,185,8
Whiteness (W) 16.907.85247,96,0194.552.77479,169,1
Blacks or
Afro-Americans (B)
Indigenous Americans (N) 407.0731,20,12.068.8830,80,7
Asians (A) 119.8290,3>0,110.123.1694,13,6
& Pacific Islanders
Other 14.891.30342,25,3467,7700,20,2
2 or more "races" 2.224.0826,30,84.602.1461,91,6
Other "races" + W / B / N / A 1.859.5385,30,11.302.8750,50,5
2 or more “races” + W / B / N / A 364.5441,00,13.299.2711,31,2


The Census Bureau points out that data on "races" are not directly comparable to results from previous censuses.[8] The rules regarding the new definitions were published in 1997 by the Office of Management and Budget in the Federal Register.[14]

Many people in the United States see "race" and ethnicity as a consistent approach.[3] In the absence of a choice that most closely matched their self-image, 42.2% of Hispanics or Latinos ticked the option of “another race” in the 2000 Census.[15] That is why the category is planned "Another" race "" to be removed from the questionnaires for the 2010 Census.[16]

Other authorities

In 2007 the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission of the US Department of Labor adjusted the classifications of "race" and ethnicity in its area to the current definitions of the OMB.[17]

See also

  • United States Census 2000

Individual evidence

  1. ^ The American FactFinder. Retrieved February 18, 2008.
  2. ↑ Questions and Answers for Census 2000 Data on Race. U.S. Census Bureau. March 14, 2001. Retrieved February 18, 2008.
  3. 3,03,13,23,33,4American Anthropological Association. A Brief History of the OMB Directive 15 1997. Retrieved February 18, 2008. Reference Error: Invalid Tag. The name "AAA" has been defined several times with different content.
  4. ^ "Revisions to the Standards for the Classification of Federal Data on Race and Ethnicity". Retrieved February 18, 2008.
  5. ^, 1850 chart (PDF). Retrieved February 18, 2008.
  6. ^, 1880 chart (PDF). Retrieved February 18, 2008.
  7. ↑ 2000 US Census form (PDF; 434 kB). Retrieved February 18, 2008.
  8. 8,08,1U.S. Census Bureau, 2000 Census of Population, Public Law 94-171 Redistricting Data File. Race. Retrieved February 18, 2008. Reference Error: Invalid Tag. The name “cen” has been defined several times with different content.
  9. ^ University of Virginia. Geospatial and Statistical Data Center. 2003. "1990 PUMS Ancestry Codes". Retrieved February 18, 2008.
  10. ^ University of Michigan. Census 1990: Ancestry Codes .. Retrieved February 18, 2008.
  11. ↑ [1]. Retrieved February 18, 2008.
  12. ↑ [2]. Retrieved February 18, 2008.
  13. 13,013,113,2Overview of Race and Hispanic Origin- 2000. PDF. Retrieved February 18, 2008.
  14. ^ OMB Directive 15. Federal Register Notice October 30, 1997. White House Web site. Retrieved February 18, 2008.
  15. ↑ Elizabeth M. Grieco, Racheal C. Cassidy. US Census Bureau. 2001. "Overview of Race and Hispanic Origin: 2000" (PDF; 149 kB) Retrieved on February 18, 2008.
  16. ↑ US Census Press Releases. 2006. "Census Bureau to Test Changes in Questionnaire, New Response Technology". Retrieved February 18, 2008
  17. ^ Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. 2007. Final Revisions of the Employer Information Report (EEO-1). Retrieved February 18, 2008.