Thursday, April 2, 2009

Study challenges the way U.S. census classifies race

Washington News (March 29, 2009)

SEATTLE - New research by the University of Washington finds that many Americans, especially Hispanics and Latinos, don't consider themselves black, white or American Indian, three of the top choices on the 2000 census.

Dr. Tony Perez from UW says there is a massive disconnect between common ideas about race and the way the government officially classifies and measures people.

Perez found a large of number of people classified themselves as "some other race," making that classification the third largest group behind whites and blacks.

"(This) gets you into this weird space where you have non-Hispanic whites versus Hispanic whites, blacks, so forth and so on," he said.

Jan McStay with the census bureau says for 2010 there will be some clarifications. For instance there will be a choice for ethnic origin and then race.

"I think we have a very accurate portrait of who we and how we see ourselves in America," said McStay.

The study also delves into the issue of mixed race classifications.

The full report is now available in the March issue of the journal Population and Development Review.

To download the report, go to:

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