Important CENSUS Information

Important Census Information

 Today I attended a meeting of the National Advisory Committee on Racial, Ethnic, and Other Populations. It was an important meeting for the multiracial population because recommendations were made for future testing for the 2020 CENSUS.

I was able to have a letter to the committee included in the meeting records and was given the opportunity to give a very brief oral statement to the committee. This was the statement I gave on behalf of the multiracial population:

 Meeting Comments

Susan Graham, Project RACE

 Only one item concerning the multiracial population was addressed in the handouts from the March meeting: multiracial respondents are not always aware they have the option to select more than one race. I will address solutions for this item in my allotted time, and ask you to also read my written letter to this committee in full, which addresses additional issues.

The instructions for race selection on the AQE and 2010 Census were the same:

Mark (x) one or more boxes.

Project RACE works to ensure that multiracial children and our families have forms that reflect appropriate, respectful, and dignified terminology. Concise and very simple, we do not disturb any data or cause any changes in tabulation. We have had extremely positive feedback for our preferred instructions, which are:

Mark one. If you are multiracial, you may select two or more.

In the 1990s, we were advised by OMB to choose one word to describe people who are of more than one race. We agreed on the same word along with other advocates. That word was “Multiracial.” Yes, times change, nomenclature changes, public preferences change, but the preferred term is still Multiracial. It is not “Mark Two or More Races” people, or the “Race in Combination” population.

Some possible changes are being tested in the race category, one of which is to add the Hispanic/Latino option. The instructions could then be:

Mark one. If you are multiracial or multiethnic, you may select two or more.

Isn’t America truly becoming multiracial and multiethnic? Why not use accurate and respectful terminology beginning with the 2020 Census? Project RACE urges you to include our model in further testing.


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