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The U.S. Census Bureau must adhere to the 1997 Office of Management and Budget (OMB) standards on race and ethnicity which guide the Census Bureau in classifying written responses to the race question:



The data on race were derived from answers to the question on race that was asked of individuals in the United States. The Census Bureau collects racial data in accordance with guidelines provided by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and these data are based on self-identification.

Information on race is required for many Federal programs and is critical in making policy decisions, particularly for civil rights. States use these data to meet legislative redistricting principles. Race data also are used to promote equal employment opportunities and to assess racial disparities in health and environmental risks.

The Census Bureau has a long history of conducting research to improve questions and data on race and ethnicity. Since the 1970s, the Census Bureau has conducted content tests to research and improve the design and function of different questions, including questions on race and ethnicity.

The Census Bureau collects race data according to U.S. Office of Management and Budget guidelines, and these data are based on self-identification. People may choose to report more than one race group. People of any race may be of any ethnic origin.

The UN Climate Change High-Level Champions and the Marrakech Partnership are spearheading the race to a cleaner, safer, healthier and more resilient world. Through our campaigns, Race to Resilience and Race to Zero, we are elevating ambition and mobilizing credible climate action among cities, regions, businesses and investors.

This process commenced last summer with the goal of ensuring that the standards better reflect the diversity of the American people. Comprising Federal government career staff who represent more than 20 agencies, the Working Group was charged with proposing recommendations for improving the quality and usefulness of Federal race and ethnicity data. Today we are announcing those initial proposals, which include:

School boards, superintendents, even principals and teachers are already facing questions about critical race theory, and there are significant disagreements even among experts about its precise definition as well as how its tenets should inform K-12 policy and practice. This explainer is meant only as a starting point to help educators grasp core aspects of the current debate.

Critical race theory is an academic concept that is more than 40 years old. The core idea is that race is a social construct, and that racism is not merely the product of individual bias or prejudice, but also something embedded in legal systems and policies.

The basic tenets of critical race theory, or CRT, emerged out of a framework for legal analysis in the late 1970s and early 1980s created by legal scholars Derrick Bell, Kimberlé Crenshaw, and Richard Delgado, among others.

Today, those same patterns of discrimination live on through facially race-blind policies, like single-family zoning that prevents the building of affordable housing in advantaged, majority-white neighborhoods and, thus, stymies racial desegregation efforts.

Some critics claim that the theory advocates discriminating against white people in order to achieve equity. They mainly aim those accusations at theorists who advocate for policies that explicitly take race into account. (The writer Ibram X. Kendi, whose recent popular book How to Be An Antiracist suggests that discrimination that creates equity can be considered anti-racist, is often cited in this context.)

You care about making the world a more equitable and just place for all. You may just be starting to think about your role and ability to impact others, or, you may be further along on your journey. Wherever you are, what you do and say matters. Explore how to speak and engage constructively about race, so we can all grow together.

Teaching Activity. By Bill Bigelow. A lesson on the countless colonial laws enacted to create division and inequality based on race. This helps students understand the origins of racism in the United States and who benefits.

The concept of race has changed over the more than 150 years represented in IPUMS. Currently, the Census Bureau and others consider race to be a sociopolitical construct, not a scientific or anthropological one. Many detailed RACE categories consist of national origin groups. With the exception of the 1970-1990 Puerto Rican censuses, RACE was asked of every person in all years.

Beginning in 2000, the race question changed substantially to allow respondents to report as many races as they felt necessary to describe themselves. In earlier years, only one race response was coded. Beginning in 2020, the Census Bureau updated the questionnaire text, processing, and coding of the race and Hispanic origin questions, resulting in major changes to the distribution of race and Hispanic origin categories. As a result, users should proceed with caution when comparing RACE and HISPAN in 2019-prior samples with 2020-onward samples. See the comparability tab for more details.

IPUMS offers several variables describing the answer(s) to the race question. RACE provides the full detail given by the respondent and/or released by the Census Bureau; it is not always historically compatible (see comparability discussion below). Users primarily interested in historical compatibility should consider using RACHSING. RACHSING codes race and Hispanic origin responses into a simple, historically compatible scheme that includes only federally defined race and Hispanic origin groups. Please note that RACESING, an earlier version of RACHSING, is also available on the IPUMS website.

In addition, specific combinations of major races can be discerned using the following bivariate indicators of whether a particular race group was reported: RACAMIND, RACASIAN, RACBLK, RACOTHER, RACPACIS, and RACWHT. RACNUM indicates the total number of major race groups reported for an individual. The information contained in the bivariate indicators and in RACNUM is integrated into the detailed version of RACE.

Prior to 1960, the census enumerator was responsible for categorizing persons and was not specifically instructed to ask the individual his or her race. In 1970 and later years, an individual's race was reported by someone in the household or group quarters. In the 1990 U.S. census, the 2000 U.S. and Puerto Rican censuses, the ACS, and the PRCS respondents were specifically asked what race the person "considers himself/herself" to be, although such self-description was more or less operative since 1960.

The RACE codes are comparable for 2019 and prior years, with three important exceptions: (1) the residual "other race" category is different each year, (2) there have been fluctuations in the way Hispanics are coded, and (3) multiple-race responses (allowed since 2000) have divided major race groups into different RACE codes. In addition, the level of detail has been increasing. In 2020, the Census Bureau implemented major revisions to the race and Hispanic origin questions, which significantly impacted the comparability of the 2020-onward samples with 2019-prior years (see further explanation below).

In general, Codes and Frequencies for RACE provide information about which categories were not used in a particular year. The 5 percent sample of census 2000, the ACS and the PRCS samples contain less detail than the 1 percent sample of census 2000 (which is shown in the Codes and Frequencies and is used for the small and tiny IPUMS data sets). In the 5 percent sample, the ACS and the PRCS, any category representing fewer than 10,000 people was combined with another category. See 2000 Race Codes for a comparison of the race categories used in the 2000 samples, the ACS and the PRCS.

The residual category "other race, n.e.c." (general RACE code 6) contains any race not listed in the available data in a given year. In all years, certain races were specified as choices on the form and so were especially likely to be reported. For example, "Chinese" and/or "Japanese" may have absorbed other Asian responses when other choices were not available. In 1970, the form for Alaska was different from that in the rest of the United States: the categories "Aleut" and "Eskimo" were substituted for "Hawaiian" and "Korean". Hawaiians and Koreans are therefore classified as "other race" in Alaska, and Aleuts and Eskimos are "other race" outside of Alaska.

Hispanics/Latinos represent an important exception to this policy of assigning a race to "other race" respondents. The race(s) of people of Hispanic/Latino origin have been coded in a variety of ways because the Census Bureau does not consider Hispanic/Latino to be a race group (for more discussion see HISPAN) and because "other race" is a very common response for Hispanics in recent years. In most years before 1970, the majority of Hispanics were probably classified as white by enumerators, as was specified in the enumerator instructions for 1940 and 1950. Mexicans in 1930 had their own category and thus were an exception to this rule. In 1970, "Mexican" and "Puerto Rican" write-in responses to "other race" were recoded to "white". In 1980, the Census Bureau noted whether an "other race" response indicated Hispanic origin but did not recode Hispanic "other race" responses. Other details of the "other race" write-in responses have not been included in the census samples.

The mixed-race population poses even more serious problems of historical comparability because its members have been enumerated and/or coded inconsistently over the years (see enumerator instructions for 1930-1950). Comparability issues are particularly acute in years when multiple race responses are allowed (2000, ACS and PRCS). Because of multiple-race responses, all major race groups are divided between two general RACE codes in these years. For example, single-race Asians have a general RACE code of 4, while multiple-race Asians have a general RACE code of 7. Because of the variety of researchers' needs, IPUMS has taken two approaches to this issue. First, the RACE variable prioritizes full information about responses to the race question, including national origin or tribal affiliation. The accompanying race indicator variables (RACAMIND, RACASIAN, RACBLK, RACOTHER, RACPACIS, RACWHT, and RACNUM) provide a simple way to identify everyone who reported a particular major race group. Second, the RACHSING variable prioritizes historical compatibility by providing bridged estimates of the likely single-race response of each multiple-race person in 2000, the ACS, and the PRCS (also see PREDWHT, PREDBLK, PREDAI, PREDAPI, and PREDHISP ). Thus, RACHSING does not have a multiple-race category. 041b061a72


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