Census Seeks Changes in How It Measures Race

Newsmax, August 8, 2012

To keep pace with rapidly changing notions of race, the Census Bureau wants to make broad changes to its surveys that would end use of the term “Negro,” count Hispanics as a mutually exclusive group and offer new ways to identify Middle Easterners.

The recommendations released Wednesday stem from new government research on the best ways to count the nation’s demographic groups. Still it could face stiff resistance from some race and ethnic groups who worry that any kind of wording change in the high-stakes government count could yield a lower tally for them.


The research is based on an experiment conducted during the 2010 census in which nearly 500,000 households were given forms with the race and ethnicity questions worded differently. The findings show that many people who filled out the traditional form did not feel they fit within the five government-defined categories of race: white, black, Asian, Pacific Islander and American Indian/Alaska Native; when questions were altered to address this concern, response rates and accuracy improved notably.

For instance, because Hispanic is currently defined as an ethnicity and not a race, some 18 million Latinos—or roughly 37 percent—used the “some other race” category on their census forms to establish a Hispanic racial identity. Under one proposed change to the census forms, a new question would simply ask a person’s race or origin, allowing them to check a single box next to choices including black, white, or Hispanic.

The other changes would drop use of “Negro,” leaving a choice of “black” or African-American, as well as add write-in categories that would allow Middle Easterners and Arabs to specifically identify themselves.


The issue isn’t just semantic. Some African-Americans in 2010, for instance, criticized a question asking if a person was “black, African American or Negro,” saying the government’s continued use of the term “Negro” was demeaning and offensive. The wording in census surveys can also be highly political: census data are used to distribute more than $400 billion in federal aid and draw political districts and thus can elicit concern if a change were to yield a lower response.

While individual Hispanics have expressed dissatisfaction with census forms that don’t count Latino as a race, Latino political groups have been reticent about pushing for a change. The main reason: past research has sometimes shown that treating Latinos as a mutually exclusive group on survey forms leads to a lower Hispanic count.


Nicholas Jones, chief of the racial statistics branch at the Census Bureau, said the government’s more recent research found that Latino response rates were similar under both the current and the new proposed format. {snip}


Other research findings:


—Based on focus groups, many people supported creating a separate racial category for those who identify as Middle Eastern or North African.

{snip} In the case of Hispanics, the nation’s largest minority group, the label as an ethnicity to date has created particular confusion.

For instance, while the Census Bureau has often described Asian-Americans as the nation’s fastest growing race group from 2000 to 2010; their rate of growth is actually equal to that of Hispanics, an ethnic group. On the other hand, Hispanics are typically treated as a race for purposes of counting “interracial” marriages in the U.S.



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  • Francis Galton

    I hope they do give “Hispanics” their own racial category, and same goes for Middle Easterners, Asian Indians, and ALL assorted non-Whites.  By the time the 2020 census comes around, there will be little doubt about the demographic genocide of “Authentically White” White people in America.  I’m afraid that number will be around 55% or so by then.  Scary….   

    •  That’s assuming of course that there will be a 2020 census.  I wouldn’t bet on it!

    • IstvanIN

      Well under 50% by 2020.

      • ZB

        I’m half black….and I do hope you’re wrong about being under 50% by 2020! (And no, for those prone to sarcasm, I don’t wish it were less; quite the opposite).

        • The Verdict of History


          You must be one of those famous “intelligent” blacks that the liberal media always parades around on TV, but that I simply never actually SEE in person…

          If you don’t want the USA to lose its White Majority…

          …. Have you ever thought about leaving the country???? 

          … I would gladly purchase your one way ticket to a (non-white) country of your choice….

        • To ZB:
          Really!?! And why’s that if i can ask? TGIF!!

      • Who In Their White Mind?

        Also adding to the confusion would be the US crime reports shown by the FBI. If a crime is committed against a Hispanic and the perpetrator is Caucasian, it is called a hate crime. If Hispanic is just an ethnicity, then this wouldn’t be a hate crime. That’s like saying an Irishman here in America beats up a person of Polish descent, that is just a white on white crime. Now if a black person who is from the Caribbean region, like a Dominican or Puerto Rican, is the victim then it is assumed by law enforcement that they were a victim because of their black features, and not because of Spanish. Language and religion are not always known because, presumably, in a civilized world, third worlders would assimilate. Unfortunately we live in reality and us on AmRen know that outside appearances are the easiest way to identify one another.

        Now there is a smidgen of truth not to judge a book by its cover. But we have to play the percentages. Even Jesse Jackson said he’d feel better and safer alone at night with a group of White kids across the street, as opposed to a group of blacks. Whites should have heeded this advice a long time ago. Maybe so many of them (and Asians) wouldn’t be victims of flash mob diversity violence.

        • We both know that Hispanics are counted as Hispanics when they’re crime victims, but counted as white when they’re perpetrators.

          If in Southern California, a group of Chicano Hispanics beats up a black Spanish-speaking Afro-Caribbean, it will get recorded as a white-on-Hispanic crime.  If it’s the other way around, it will also be recorded as a white-on-Hispanic crime. Think it through.

          • The Verdict of History

            The following is purely academic, but bear [sic] with me…

            I think that the “hispanic ethnicity” is divided into two groups in the US — White Hispanic and Black Hispanic.
            So an Afro-Caribbean would be considered a member of the black race under census bureau strictures.

            But I get your point here…

            The entire system is infected with racial politics. 

          • The Verdict of History

            And it is designed to undermine the integrity of WHITE IDENTITY by including non-European peoples of dubious origin (South Asian, Mid-Eastern, North African, Latino) under the umbrella of WHITE.

            Racial Heresy.

        • That’s interesting you say these things. I think James Holmes, Jared Loughner, Stephen A. Smith, the cat in Norway last year, and recently, the late Wade Micheal Page would love to hear plus see this!!

    • redfeathers

      I agree, it’s a great idea.  WE know our numbers are dwindling rapidly.  It would be a good thing for other people of European blood to know.  Some would be concerned.  Unfortunately, a good percentage of others don’t care or think our dispossession would be a good thing (Bill Clinton).  However, I think our number is close to 55% now.

  • guest

    “While individual Hispanics have expressed dissatisfaction with census forms that don’t count Latino as a race, Latino political groups have been reticent about pushing for a change. The main reason: past research has sometimes shown that treating Latinos as a mutually exclusive group on survey forms leads to a lower Hispanic count.”

    I worked as a bilingual 2010 census enumerator in areas with 15-20% “Hispanic” populations (mostly illegal alien Mexicans and Central Americans) and the above statement is true. I got race answers from respondents  ranging from Aztec to indigeneous to Hispanic/Latino (not a valid response for 2010 census) to Meztizo to WHITE (from respondents the color of my billfold) to  “What do you think is the best answer?”

  • Oil Can Harry

    I disagree that the census should add the categories of “Middle Easterner” and “Hispanic”.

    They should instead list them as “Jihadist” and “Taco Bell Janitor”. 

  • potato78

    How about this specific category:

    •  A problem with that is that for one, I would have to check a lot of boxes for various ethnicities, and for another, I fear that Census would assume that I’m equal parts all the boxes I check.  When in reality, I have more of some and less of others.  So is the case for most white Americans.

    • The Verdict of History

      Why did you leave out Germanic…

    • Most Euro-Americans are already mixed. No, this is not realistic

    •  White, in America, has a very real ethnic meaning that goes beyond race. For example, “German-American” has almost no ethnic meaning besides for the Amish, Hutterites, and a handful of others who still speak the German language, or for recent migrants just arrived from Germany or Austria. 95% of German-Americans have nothing beyond surname and (maybe) church from their neighbors with Polish, Irish, Scandinavian, Anglo-Saxon, or French surname. We all speak one language and are one people.

      One of my ex-girlfriends brought me to this realization when I asked her why she didn’t like speaking in German with me, though we were both studied in it. She told me it was because she “speaks German like a White girl”.

      What is not needed is more reflection on European regional origins, but an assertion of national consciousness based on our shared ethnoracial character. My grandfather’s mother and father both came from Old Saxony, but in Bremen today both he and I are a foreigners.

      We should not encourage the census bureau to make the task of building national consciousness harder. 

  • I thought it was complicated, but it’s really not.

    * Latino is a cultural background.

    * Hispanic is a race: American Indian with some Spanish admixture.

    Duh.  Why is everyone so confused about this?

  • dhs

    “… worry that any kind of wording change in the high-stakes government count could yield a lower tally for them.”

    This attitude is instructive. According to America’s intellectual leaders, “race” is a meaningless social construct.  So why is the number of a particular racial group important? The answer is simply access to the diversity spoils.

    Employments, particularly juicy government jobs, are allocated according to racial and gender percentages in the population. So no group wants to be lumped in with white males, and every group wants as large a percentage as possible.  The larger the percentage of a group means the more employment.  Other government benefits such as schooling and housing subsidies are also increased as a group expands.

    The pie is shrinking so groups must be more aggressive to get their fair share.

    • The Verdict of History

      Racial balkanization and GRABBY ethnic conflict at its finest!

      The founding fathers would be exceedingly pleased, no?

  • Exoplanet Finder

    That’s too bad about removing ‘Negro’. How about adding Nordic, Alpine and Mediterranean? I am still wondering if within the white world there is, in each country only in different proportion, this tripartite division between the people like the early 20th century writers speculated. If so, saying I was ‘Italian’ would mean I was Italian culturally, but biologically might share more in common with a German or French person of the same race-character I had. Something that has been totally forgotten, and that I only found out about by accident, recently, via Gobineau, Grant and L. Stoddard. For someone like me, interested on a purely intellectual level in the answer, what can be done? Should I just… ask a professor?

    • anmpr1

       The average “professor” will tell you that it is all a “social construct.”   But I’m still trying to understand what kind of “society” could create a Serena Williams or a Mike Tyson.  Must be something they put in the water.

  • pc must go

    I’m half-jewish… Will jews be allowed to check Jewish- Middle Easterner, especially the darker jews? They don’t identify as Arab…

    What angers me is they used to ASK WHITES IF THEY WERE GERMAN, ITALIAN, POLISH, etc, now they just care what country you are from if you are asian or latino.

    • The Verdict of History

      What I’ve been protesting all along.

      Why isn’t it sufficient to celebrate the diversity among European peoples ONLY????? 

      Why can’t I just be proud of the diversity within MY OWN WHITE RACE???

      I find THAT kind of diversity… WHITE ETHNIC diversity to be far more compelling and enriching than any sort of RACIAL DIEversity….

      good god…

    • anew

      “What angers me is they used to ask whites if they are German, Italian, Polish, etc, now they just care what country you are from if you are asian or latino.”

      I think that’s a good change; in a small way, it helps along the assimilation process. All English-speaking whites should see themselves as one ethnicity: Anglo-Saxon. 

      I think the Hispanic category makes sense the way it is, but Mestizos are large enough now that they  should have their own particular racial option separate from other or two or more races. 

      • foundingstockcracker

         I don’t think my Anglo-Saxon grandmother would much care for your “evolved” definition.   She knew that a Sicilian, and others swarming this country in the time  of her youth, was and are not “white”.  

      •  I agree, except that “Anglo-Saxon” simply has too much of a cultural-historical meaning to be used as a new political one for American Whites.

        My proposal (also made by others independently, but thinking on the same lines) is Americaner or Amerikaner. The reasoning is that the classical term “American” has been widened and distorted against our will to mean little beyond citizenship.

        Anglo-Saxon, on the other hand, still gives the incorrect suggestion that American Whites or Americaner have a homeland across the Atlantic when in fact we don’t. There is a ‘Mother Country”, but our home is nevertheless here now.

        Plus, it is also not going to be simple to get people who may easily view themselves as White and American to then think of themselves as Anglo-Saxon. They know that a name like Mazerkowicz or O’Murphy lacks an Anglo-Saxon ring. I propose that a new term will be more easily taken to. 

        I might also be misreading what you mean by “All English-speaking whites…”, but although I think such a unification and assimilation is a great and possible idea (one that I see has already happened on the basic level) for those of us in America, it is a radical one if you would also include the English and Aussies in that score. Even if we are all Anglo-Saxon in one sense, our cultural unity has been broken by both distance and independence.

    • rightrightright

      I have read that Arabs classify themselves as White!  

      We have to tick the race box on everything, from applying for a swimming pool season ticket to health surveys at the doctors’ surgery.  There are boxes for every possible sort of arriviste third worlder, for the Scots, the Irish, the Welsh, but no box for the English.  If we wish to be more specific in identifying ourselves, then we have to tick the “White Other” box.  Lovely, that.   I am an Englishwoman in England, but classified by our filthy governing caste as “other”.  

      I foul such pieces of paper by writing ENGLISH across the whole shabang.  

      • How could that be? I thought “white other” was just a synonym for “Eastern Euro”.  They must think they have already succeed in destroying English identity now if that is the case.

    • The test, for you, is a simple one. Look in a mirror. Look carefully. Then say to yourself: where these looks belong to ? Austria or Saudi Arabia ?

      There you are.

    • Is this why you never call yourself half-white?  You’re Jew/Middle East?  If so, I take it your Middle East side was Christian?  I can’t imagine a muslim Middle East and a Jew ever getting together for anything least of all love.

      • No, you mixed it up.  PMG is half-Jewish & the other half is some kind of European. I guess so, because this site is becoming confusing, especially since crystal evans has come out of closet …… Or not ?

        • Ms. Crystal Evans is Full Blooded Japanese and Yes Sir, this site is getting confusing.  I’m a mixy too but I’m Pure White.  I look like a Brit if I were to align myself with any one particular ethnicity but I’m not a Brit.  I’m American.

          I just want an area I can live in without having to deal with any sort of Foreign anything.  I grew up having never seen an Asian or a Latino/Hispanic whatever they are or any other non-white except Blacks and our Blacks were normal.  They kept to themselves and there was no rap music, graffiti, trash, crime or any other “new black” stuff of today.  We also had no foreign culture of any kind.  If you wanted foreign culture, you had to drive five hours to the City to get it and it worked just fine for us.  Now, foreigners and their foreign culture are in every small Town you can find.

          • No, re crystal evans I thought about  lesbian, not Japanese ancestry stuff.

          • Oh.  I had no idea.  I don’t have anything against gay people, I just don’t believe they were born that way and I don’t believe in “gay rights”.

            It’s like the Military.  Why do they need to announce their sexual preference in the Military?  They’re suppose to join because they love their Country and fellow Countrymen so much, they’re willing to take that chance with their lives for it and that has nothing to do with sex yet we’re all supposed to just shut up now and let them dance and prance around in what is suppose to be, a very serious outfit.

          • mistermark123

            You’re woefully ignorant about sexual orientation.

          • Yet, you have to admit: at the same time someone is married to a (White) guy & is openly lesbian. Well- isn’t it strange ?

          • re: article link you posted and Thank You for it too:

            I sure hope people can understand why I’m fed up.  This group must be protected and that group must be excluded that one over there must be given extra “rights” and that one way over there must pay for it all.

  • The Verdict of History

    BINGO !!!!!!!!!!!

  • The Verdict of History

    That is interesting content…

    I am fascinated by the history of Spain and its people… especially its genetic and demographic history…

    I often call Spaniards the “forgotten” or “true”/original Hispanics… 

    1.) You were first Celtic (and largely still are to some extent, no??)…

    2.) And after the Roman invasion… you experienced the influx of Latin/Romance settlement…

    After this…

    3.) There came a Germanic influx (primarily Visigoths)

    4.) And then the Arab semitic influx… which included Jews (Sephardic) as well…


    There is plenty of “diversity” amung European peoples… and I think I like that kind of diversity just as it is!

  •  in modern parlance, that’s “latino”, not “hispanic”.  Do you want to reverse those words?  There are two distinct concepts there. 

  • Chimp Master Rules

    OK, so in other words, forget science . . . we’re just tinkering with semantics to one-up our political opponents.

    It seems strange to me (I don’t know about anyone else here) that we would be having this discussion and making things MORE complicated at the same time we’re pushing the science of DNA and clarifying the sub-groups within the human species.

    I do know one thing about latinos:  They hate being described as “mestizo” or “mulatto.”  I have yet to find a very dark latino who was comfortable being told he was half indian or half black.  I’m guessing that’s where the “latino is a racial identity” thing comes from.

    Bottom line, this nonsense:

    1)  Was dreamed up by non-whites and/or anti-whites

    2)  Is therefore bad for WNs

    • The Verdict of History

      In a nutshell, yes…

      Musing in the inane details of non-white’s ethnic self-categorization is probably going to be regarded as a futile, pseudo-intellectual exercise for prospective white activists…

      … and veterans….


    •  I do know one thing about latinos:  They hate being described as
      “mestizo” or “mulatto.”  I have yet to find a very dark latino who was
      comfortable being told he was half indian or half black.  I’m guessing
      that’s where the “latino is a racial identity” thing comes from.

      Are you sure ? IMO, phenotypically white Hispanics like Fidel, Ricky Martin etc. are White;  George Zimmerman is a Mestizo and for Black or Mulatto Hispanics you have to check among Dominicans.

      I mean- Latino, Hispanic…  evidently are not racial categories. Besides, what then to do with Whites and Blacks from Brazil, who are Lusophone/Portuguese speaking and not Hispanophone/Spanish speaking people ?

  • I hope they do this and I hope more that they will be Honest when releasing the True News about just how Minority The Americans really are.  Maybe that will wake them up and they will consciously act on it.

    I hope White People actively seek out the already Whitest Areas and proceed to Take Over the Entire Communities and all without apologizing for it too.

  • The Verdict of History

    Your sentiment is refreshing…

    … I wonder how many blacks would actually agree with you…

    … More to the point, I wonder how many blacks would be willing to admit to agreeing with you…

    Good luck with your conservatism, given the epic bigotry displayed toward internal ideological dissent in your racial community.

  • As I wrote before- this is not very realistic. Better categorization would be:

    1. White European
    2. Black
    3. Native American/Indian
    4. Mestizo
    5. Mulatto (biracial black-white)
    6. South Asian (Paki, India)
    7. East Asian (Japan, China)
    8. Caucasian non- White or non-European (many Arabs, Turks,..)

  • Dear Zb and the rest:
    This country belongs to all people. It can’t be “all white” nor “all non-white”. This must be a society that all people work together as team to solve problems. It can be done, thus, let’s work towards that goal. TGIF!!

  • To Everyone: Here’s my ultimate solution. How about labeling everybody in this country as human beings along with citizens. Everybody gets the same treatment, opportunities given their skills and abilities. Etc. “High Iq” individuals would support such an idea, don’t you’ll think!?! TGIF!!

    •  Yes, good idea.  But when we try that, it tends to leave certain people behind, and the civil rights vultures go to court screaming about disparate impact.

    • The__Bobster

      My solution is to return to the White nation we used to be.

    • There’s already tons of non-whites who love to pretend they’re all about Equality yet they never demand all their Minority Privilege go away.  They’re always so quiet about that yet stand together whenever a White Person loses it and does something against non-whites.

      Non-whites show us what they’re about everyday they let all the inequality and discrimination against White People carry on and they show what they’re about when they don’t stand with us and demand the Government stop taxing us White Folk in order to help pay for all their Minority Privilege.

  • The__Bobster
  • You’re aware that number of Turks and Iranians is actually infinitesimal (and Iranians are White, at least visually).

    It’s Mestizos who are highly problematic:

  • MarcusTrajanus

    I’m in the same boat. I’ve been taken for Italian, Spanish (both half right), French, etc. but no one has ever thought I’m Latin American. People are incredulous when I tell them where I come from (no wonder, since that place is well over 90% mestizo and indian.

  • MarcusTrajanus

    When we talk about a “Hispanic race” we are obviously talking about the hybrid European / Amerindian populations of Spanish America, aka mestizos. These are kind of people whom you can tell at a glance are Latinoamericanos, unlike the Whites, blacks, and pure Amerindians who can’t be told apart physically from their non “Hispanic” counterparts. So why not allow Whites, blacks and and Amerindians to identify as their respective biological races( with the addition that they are “of Latin American  origin”) and create a new racial category for the “Hispanic race”? They could call the new category “The Cosmic Race”.

    • So, you would equate Hispanics with Mestizos ?

      • MarcusTrajanus

         No, I’m Hispanic and White  myself. But it’s clear that when people (particularly Americans) speak of “Hispanics” as a race, what they actually mean is Mestizos, so maybe the new categories should reflect that.

        •  You might be Hispanic and White, but there are actually a number of people in the USA fitting that description and are extremely confused as to how to think about the issue.

          I typically avoid the question by talking about the Mexicans and others countries south of there as a race in themselves.

  • Phenotype is destiny, no doubt. I read yesterday on African American forum about Dominicans in Atlanta, Ga. Of course, Dominicans are “Hispanic”- racially, most are light Mulattoes and some are Whites. Anyway, with all the ethno-culture hype, the situation is as follows: Mulattoes are blending into Atlanta’s Black community & Dominican Whites into White community. Dominican multiracial identity is in the process of rapid dissolution.

    Beards of a feather …

  •  “Native Americans”, huh? Ok, I likewise have no problem identifying them simply as “merciless Indian savages”.