Talk:Race and ethnicity in the United States Census/Archive 1

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Making the ARTICLE better

What a horrible article. The chart is utterly meaningless to someone not versed in all these connections.

How about a simple pie chart showing the racial makeup of the USA? And if we think "ethnicity" is different, then one for that.

As it is we have a bizzaro table that is impossible for the novice to read.

One of the worst articles I've seen on Wikipedia. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:02, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

Irrespective of how anyone here views the issue of "race" personally or professionally ... the article would benefit from addition of a mention of research material showing that the "some other race" category was used almost exclusively by people who answered "yes" to the Hispanic/Latino question. It's an informative area of research that isn't presently in the article. I'm at the wrong computer to add it myself (it's all saved on my laptop), but if someone else has it handy or wants to look it up, by all means, let's get it in there. Lawikitejana 04:01, 29 August 2006 (UTC)


I just noticed that there are two links for two similar Spanish articles. I just flagged the two articles on the Spanish wikipedia so hopefully we'll narrow it down to one article. Please leave the two up for the time being. Thank you. --Kraftlos (talk) 04:23, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

Footnote 2: Tucker, Kojetin, and Harrison

Footnote 2 supports the following sentence:

The racial terms used on the 2000 US Census reflect the most preferred terms used for the group of people they include by majority consensus

However, the document is published in 1996, and specifically concludes with the following:

This CPS Supplement represents only one in a series of studies to be conducted by the Federal government that will concern the measurement of race and ethnicity. The Bureau of the Census is currently conducting two studies—the National Content Survey and the Race and Ethnicity Targeted Test—to prepare for Census 2000. Both of these studies test various ways of asking about race and ethnicity. The results of these efforts, along with the CPS supplement and other research will be evaluated carefully prior to any decision about Directive No. 15.

So this reference cannot support the sentence as written. We should find an appropriate reference. I have deleted the reference and replaced with {{citationneeded}}. I'm including the reference below.
Tucker, Clyde; Kojetin, Bryan and Roderick, Harrison. A Statistical Analysis of the CPS Supplement on Race and Ethnic Origin. 1995. Accessed November 18, 2006.<>.
--ishu 06:00, 19 November 2006 (UTC)

Tribal affiliation

I would have to disagree I myself am American Indian and am classified as such and I have absolutely no tribal affiliation. Not all Indians do.

This a weird process

If a Korean declares that he is a Korean, he will be ignored and called an "Asian." If a Negro declares that he is a Negro, he will be ignored and reported as being an "African American," even though when he deplores the term "African American." People's responses are simply ignored, thus there is no point in asking people to identify themselves. GhostofSuperslum 18:50, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

I think you would be hard-pressed to find an African American who self-identifies as "Negro", these days.Self-identification is a flawed method, but race is a flawed concept, too. Technically, "Asian" includes Koreans. FilipeS 22:33, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
Not that this is about the article, so I'll keep it short ... in the 1990 census, at least, there was a space under "Asian" (for example) in which the relevant nation could be identified. Lawikitejana 08:03, 16 July 2007 (UTC)

Sudan on the map

Interesting. The southern half of Sudan is in the black people zone and the north in the white people zone. It's the only country cut by the boundaries on this map. Seems strange, even if it does reflect Sudan's geographical racial reality. But um, how does the census categorize someone who simply answers that s/he is "Sudanese"? White? Black? From which part of Sudan do they assume that respondent is? SamEV 10:43, 7 March 2007 (UTC)


I have a problem with exclusively calling Caucasians 'white'. If African Americans are called African Americans, then I want 'whites' to be called Caucasian.

I hate being called a white man. I am North African Catholic, but don't label me as a white man! "White man" is an insulting term.
I myself would be very insulted if called "Caucasian", I'm white, nothing else. 19:36, 6 June 2007 (UTC)

Write your congressman. FilipeS 20:03, 27 May 2007 (UTC)

This Talk page is intended for discussing the article; no one here decides what the census calls people, but rather, Wikipedia simply describes what the census calls people.Lawikitejana 08:05, 16 July 2007 (UTC)

I also have a problem with the 'White' and 'African-American' categories. The government always has to change our names. We went from nigger, then to negro, to colored, to black, to African Americans. Why must our name suggest that America is not our home, when infact if it wasnt for slavery, America would be NOTHING!! Why arent whites called Eurpoean-Americans???? Also, I LOVE how the map shows North Africa as being considered 'white'. Since when were Eygptians considered to be white??

Hey! My brother-in-law is Egyptian, last I checked, he was White. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:34, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

See the official definitions of the U.S. Bureau of the Census. There's a link in the article. FilipeS 15:41, 26 July 2007 (UTC)

This from the previous version

I suppose this can help clarify some questions, so I put it here.

Also, people from Mexico are not classified as American Indian in the United States, even though 90% of all Mexicans have partial or full Amerindian origins and 69% with partial or full white (mostly Spanish) origins they are not classified as white either.
Mexico by race
Population: 103,400,165 (July 2002 est.)
Multiracial (American Indian and Spanish) 60%
American Indian 30%
white 9%
other 1%
Mexicans do not generally maintain tribal affiliation or community attachment. This could be a major reason they are not classified as American Indian in the United States. It is the only race category on the US Census where a person must maintain their tribal affiliation or community attachment to be classified by the race they are.
It is important to keep in mind that racial self-identifications on the US Census are optional categories that people select or choose not to select. In the case of Latinos, some choose Asian, Black, Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, Native American, or White for their race. Many would rather indicate a multiracial ancestry, but using terms different from those on the Census form, such as Mestizo and Mulatto. Some may actually be unsure of their racial origins. In the absence of any racial choice which fits their understanding of themselves, more than 40 percent of Latinos/as will check 'Other' for their race.

SamEV 03:01, 24 March 2007 (UTC)


Where does Australia sit in all of this? The map has it purple. Qaanaaq 05:45, 19 August 2007 (UTC)

Writing in "Australian" gets you counted as white.----DarkTea© 08:11, 19 August 2007 (UTC)

the map

According to {{2000 Race US Census map}}, people from Sudan are considered "white" in the US? Seriously?? Or did somebody just use the "bucket fill" tool inspired by our North Africa article? --dab (𒁳) 14:53, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

in fact the very CIA Factbook gives Sudanese "ethnic groups" as "black 52%, Arab 39%, Beja 6%, foreigners 2%, other 1%" (by comparison, Egypt: "Egyptian 98%, Berber, Nubian, Bedouin, and Beja 1%"). I really doubt Sudan should remain in the "white" category (unless, of course, rock solid references are given). --dab (𒁳) 15:25, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
The 1990 US Census ancestry codes from the University of Michigan says Sudanese are blacks. I'll fix the map.----DarkTea© 17:30, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

Other example

Can we get an example of an "other" race? I understand that it's used by many people from South and Central America, but what do they put in the blank as the descriptor? I was under the impression that writing "Mexican" would get them automatically re-classified as a native of the Americas, even though they ticked the 'Other' box. And who else uses it? Jedi knights? WhatamIdoing 22:12, 12 September 2007 (UTC)

"Respondents providing write-in entries such as multiracial, mixed, interracial, Wesort, or a Hispanic/Latino group (for example, Mexican, Puerto Rican, or Cuban) in the "Some other race" category are included here." [1]

"Finally, the category Some Other Race, which is intended to capture responses such as Mulatto, Creole, and Mestizo, also has a write-in area." [2]

"These people were primarily of Hispanic origin, 90.4 percent or 16.8 million people, and many wrote in their Hispanic origin or Hispanic origin type (such as Mexican or Puerto Rican) as their race." [3]

"Respondents who provided write-in entries such as Moroccan, South African, Belizean, or a Hispanic origin (for example, Mexican, Puerto Rican, or Cuban) are included in the Some other race category." [4]

"In New York, about 52 percent of entries in the race comments field were non-specific Hispanic origins such as “Spanish”, “Hispanic” or “Latino”. Other specific Hispanic groups, such as Puerto Rican, Cuban or Dominican made up another three percent of responses. “Mestizo” was reported about five percent of the time and “Trigueno” about 1.4 percent of the time. About four percent of the race comments in were some form of the word “Mexican,” and South American groups (e.g. Ecuadorian, Brazilian, Colombian, and Peruvian) were found in about 4.5 percent of responses. Responses of “American,” “Human,” or “Person” occurred in almost six percent of the responses. Other notable responses in New York included “White,” “Indian,” “Egyptian,” and “Mixture”. In Georgia, almost half of the race comments were some form of the word “Mexican”. About 34 percent of responses were “Hispanic” and another three percent of responses were “Spanish” or “Latino”. “White” or “Caucasian” were reported about 2.7 percent of the time, and “American” or “Human” were reported over two percent of the time." [5]

"About 21% of Hispanics leave race blank in Census 2000 forms, compared to 31% in 1990-style forms. The already low missing rate of 1.5% for non-Hispanics is still lower in the Census 2000 form (.6%)." "The data hint at increased reporting as AIAN by Hispanics and reduced reporting by non- Hispanics in Census 2000 forms, but samples are too small to be sure." "The effects of questionnaire changes on Hispanic race reporting were fairly dramatic. Reporting as White increased 10 percentage points, and reporting as “Some Other Race” decreased by the same amount, in Census 2000 forms. This result reflects the “one or more” option and the reversal in item sequence, and is consistent with prior research." [6]

See also La Raza Cosmica. --JWB 23:09, 12 September 2007 (UTC)

PUMS Ancestry Codes and race

Currently the article has statements about the presumed race of people of certain ancestries, based on the first digit of a PUMS Ancestry Code. However, I don't see any reference saying that presumed race is computed based on the first digit of the PUMS Ancestry Code.

Most of the first digit groups of ancestry codes obviously include people of various races: 2 Hispanic including Spain and Latin America, 3 West Indies and other S America, 5 Sub-Saharan Africa including Afrikaner, 8 Australia, NZ, Pacific Islands, 9 N American including Afro American, Native American, Pennsylvania German. --JWB 23:30, 25 October 2007 (UTC)

For the love of god, Filipe

Again, please read the sources before you edit. The document "Overview of race and Hispanic origin"[7] reads: "The OMB 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.”". Do you notice the word "Latino" there? I hope so. The document "American Anthropological Association Response to OMB Directive 15"[8] reads: "...for many respondents, the concepts of race, ethnicity and ancestry are not clearly distinguished. Rather, respondents view race, ethnicity and ancestry as one and the same." "View", as in "see", not "saw". I have no patience for your attitude. SamEV (talk) 00:18, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

LOL, it's not my fault that you can't write proper English. No need to get your panties all tied up in a knot over that. FilipeS (talk) 00:44, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
Filipe, I don't know what your problem is, but in English, "they view" is more akin to "they see" than to "they saw". Perhaps you should consult with an English major. Good day. SamEV (talk) 00:53, 29 November 2007 (UTC)