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Encyclopedia > Race (U.S. census)

The United States Census Bureau uses the federal government's definitions of race when performing a census. These definitions have changed in the past and may yet change between censuses. The United States Census Bureau (officially Bureau of the Census) is a part of the United States Department of Commerce. ... It has been suggested that Validity of human races be merged into this article or section. ... The U.S. Census is mandated by the United States Constitution. ...

Race in the US Federal Census
The 7th federal census, in 1850, asked for Color[1] and gave the choices:
The 10th federal census, in 1880, asked for Color[2] and gave the choices:
  • white
  • black
  • mulatto
  • Chinese
  • Indian
The 22nd federal census, in 2000, had a "short form"[3] that asked two race/ancestry questions:

1.Is the person Spanish/Hispanic/Latino? The U.S. Census is mandated by the United States Constitution. ... 1850 was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ... Representation of Mulatos during the Latin American colonial period. ... 1880 was a leap year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... The United States Census of year 2000, conducted by the Census Bureau, determined the resident population of the United States on April 1, 2000, to be 281,421,906, an increase of 13. ...

  • No, not Spanish/Hispanic/Latino
  • Yes, Mexican, Mexican American, Chicano
  • Yes, Puerto Rican
  • Yes, Cuban
  • Yes, other Spanish/Hispanic/Latino (write in group)

2.What is the person's race?

  • White
  • Black, African American, Negro
  • American Indian or Alaska Native (write in tribe)
  • Asian Indian
  • Chinese
  • Filipino
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Vietnamese
  • Native Hawaiian
  • Guamanian or Chamorro
  • Samoan
  • Other Pacific Islander (write in race)
  • Other race (write in race)

This census acknowledged that "the race categories include both racial and national-origin groups." Negro means black in Spanish, Portuguese and ancient Italian languages, being derived from the Latin word niger of the same meaning. ...

The racial categories are officially described as follows:ยน

The categories represent a social-political construct designed for collecting data on the race and ethnicity of broad population groups in this country, and are not anthropologically or scientifically based.
Furthermore, the race categories include both racial and national-origin groups. [4]

Racial classification in the 2000 census was based solely on self-identification and, for the first time, did not pre-suppose disjointness: The United States Census of year 2000, conducted by the Census Bureau, determined the resident population of the United States on April 1, 2000, to be 281,421,906, an increase of 13. ...

The question on race asked respondents to report the race or races they considered themselves to be. Both questions are based on self-identification.

Nearly seven million Americans identified themselves as members of more than one race in the 2000 census.


For the 2000 census the Census Bureau considers race to be separate from Hispanic origin. It has been suggested that Latino be merged into this article or section. ...


Because of changes to definitions, the Census Bureau issued the following warning:

The question on race for Census 2000 was different from the one for the 1990 census in several ways. Most significantly, respondents were given the option of selecting one or more race categories to indicate their racial identities. Because of these changes, the Census 2000 data on race are not directly comparable with data from the 1990 census or earlier censuses. Caution must be used when interpreting changes in the racial composition of the U.S. population over time.

2000 Definitions

The following definitions apply to the 2000 census only.

The term Caucasian race is used almost exclusively in the United States to refer to people whose ancestry can be traced back to Europe, North Africa, West Asia, South Asia and parts of Central Asia. ... World map showing Europe Europe is conventionally considered one of the seven continents which, in this case, is more a cultural and political distinction than a physiogeographic one. ... A map showing countries commonly considered to be part of the Middle East The Middle East is a region comprising the lands around the southern and eastern parts of the Mediterranean Sea, a territory that extends from the eastern Mediterranean Sea to the Persian Gulf. ... North Africa is a region generally considered to include: Algeria Egypt Libya Mauritania Morocco Sudan Tunisia Western Sahara The Azores, Canary Islands, and Madeira are sometimes considered to be a part of North Africa. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ... An African-American (also Afro-American, Black American, or black), is a member of an ethnic group in the United States whose ancestors, usually in predominant part, were indigenous to Africa. ... Africa is the worlds second-largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. ... The Caribbean, (Spanish: Caribe; French: Caraïbe or more commonly Antilles; Dutch: Cariben or Caraïben, or more commonly Antillen) or the West Indies, is a group of islands and countries which are in or border the Caribbean Sea which lies on the Caribbean Plate. ... A Hupa man, 1923 The scope of this indigenous peoples of the Americas article encompasses the definitions of indigenous peoples and the Americas as established in their respective articles. ... Alaskan Natives are Aboriginal Americans who live in Alaska. ... Commonly, Central America is the region of North America located between the southern border of Mexico and the northwest border of Colombia, in South America. ... For other uses, see Cherokee (disambiguation). ... For other uses of Chippewa, see Chippewa (disambiguation). ... An Iroquoian tribe formerly residing on the river of the same name on the Virginia-North Carolina border. ... Navajo blanket Navajo Nation (Navajo: Naabeehó Dineé) is the name of a sovereign Native American nation established by the Diné. The Navajo Indian Reservation covers about 27,000 square miles (70,000 square kilometres) of land, occupying all of northeastern Arizona, and extending into Utah and New Mexico, and is... Far East is an inexact term often used for East Asia and Southeast Asia combined, sometimes including also the easternmost territories of Russia, i. ... Location of Southeast Asia Southeast Asia is a subregion of Asia. ... Composite satellite image of the Indian subcontinent Map of South Asia. ... The Republic of India is a large country in South Asia, and one of only two countries in the world with a population of over one billion. ... The Hmong, also known as Miao (Chinese: è‹—pinyin: Miáo; Vietnamese: Mèo or HMông; Thai: แม้ว (Maew) or ม้ง (Mong)), are an Asian ethnic group speaking the Hmong language, whose homeland is in the mountainous regions of southern China (especially Guizhou) that cross into northern Southeast Asia (northern Vietnam... An Asian American is a person of Asian ancestry or origin who was born in or is an immigrant to the United States. ... Official language(s) Hawaiian and English Capital Honolulu Largest city Honolulu Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 43rd 28,337 km² n/a km 2,450 km 41. ... In April of 1990, Daniel K. Akaka became the first native Hawaiian and Chinese American to serve in the United States Congress as a Senator from the State of Hawaii. ... Chamorros are the indigenous peoples of Guam and Northern Marianas. ... Mariana Islands (sometimes called The Marianas; up to the early 20th century sometimes called the Ladrone Islands) are a group of islands made up by the summits of 15 volcanic mountains in the Pacific Ocean. ... Chuukese People from the Chuuk (also known as Truk) islands. ... A Pacific Islander or Pacific Person (plural: Pacific People) is a term used in several places, such as New Zealand and the United States, to describe people of a certain heritage. ... The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is a body within the Executive Office of the President of the United States which is tasked with coordinating United States Federal agencies. ... It has been suggested that Latino be merged into this article or section. ... A mixed-race Asian / Caucasian boy The terms multiracial, biracial, and mixed-race describe people whose ancestors are not of a single race. ...

Footnote

The same language has been used for many years. See for example:

Black people are the only group represented without the description of "original".


References

  • Racial and Ethnic Classifications Used in Census 2000 and Beyond
  • Census 2000 Brief: Race and Hispanic Origin (PDF document)

 
 

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