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Census Wants to Change How it Measures Race

The Census Bureau wants to make broad changes to its surveys to keep pace with changing notions of race.

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Flickr User USDAgov

The changes would drop use of the term “Negro” leaving a choice of “black” or “African-American. It would count Hispanics as a mutually exclusive group to blacks and whites and add in write-in categories that would allow Middle Easterners and Arabs to specifically identify themselves.

Census director Robert Groves says extensive research during the 2010 census found that making these changes increased response rates and improved accuracy.

The government currently defines Latinos as an ethnicity. Census forms now instruct Latinos to indicate whether they have Hispanic origin and then check a race box such as “white” or “black,” even though many consider their Hispanic background to be their race.

 

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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