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Race and Social Problems

, 1:111 | Cite as

Measurement of Race and Ethnicity in a Changing, Multicultural America

  • Karen Humes
  • Howard Hogan
Article

Abstract

It is well accepted that concepts of race, ethnicity, and ancestry are changing constructs that reflect the social, economic, and political climate of the times. Studying the history of the collection of data on race, place of birth, Hispanic origin, and ancestry in US decennial censuses provides a better understanding of the race and ethnic concepts currently in use for official federal statistics. This history can help guide the evolution of these concepts for research on alternative measurement approaches, future censuses, and future statistics. The purpose of this paper is threefold. The first objective is to provide a historical overview of race and ethnic measurement in US decennial censuses. The second and third objectives are to present Census Bureau plans to experiment with alternative approaches to measuring race and ethnicity in the 2010 Census and to discuss race and ethnic measurement issues for future decennial censuses.

Keywords

Race Ethnicity Hispanic origin Ancestry Measurement 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.US Census BureauWashingtonUSA
  2. 2.US Census BureauWashingtonUSA

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