Census Bureau

Findings on Questions on Race and Hispanic Origin Tested in the 1996 National Content Survey

Staff of the Special Population Statistics
Population Division

U.S. Bureau of the Census
Washington, DC 20233-8800

December 1996

Population Division Working Paper No. 16

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This paper reports the general results of research undertaken by Census Bureau Staff. The views expressed are attributable to the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Census Bureau.


ACKNOWLEDGMENT

This report was prepared in Population Division by Roderick Harrison, Chief, Racial Statistics Branch, Manuel de la Puente, Chief, Ethnic and Hispanic Statistics Branch, and Claudette Bennett of the Racial Statistics Branch. Nampeo McKenney, Assistant Division Chief for Special Population Statistics, Population Division provided overall direction for the report.

Henry Woltman, Assistant Division Chief for Nonsampling Error Measurement, Deborah Griffin, Staff Group Leader, Mary Davis, and Joan Hill of the Decennial Statistical Studies Division made significant contributions to the statistical methodology section provided in Appendix C.

The Decennial Management Division coordinated and directed all census operations, including the processing of the data. Karen Mills of the Decennial Management Division provided editorial assistance.

Joan Hill and Mary Davis of Decennial Statistical Studies Division provided programming and statistical analysis assistance. The staff of the Special Population Statistics Program Area made many contributions to the preparation of this report. In particular, Barbara Martin, Kymberly DeBarros, and Rosalyn Green of Population Division programmed the data for the tables; and Paula Vines, Rhonda Carney, Debbie Niner, Barbara Martin, Linda Chase, Margaret Applekamp, Mary Kennedy, Deborah Carroll, Leigh Zarbough, Edna Paisano and John Reed provided professional, statistical , and clerical assistance. The report was reviewed by Elizabeth Martin, Campbell Gibson, Louisa Miller, Patricia Johnson, Greg Robinson, and other Census Bureau staff.


Contents

Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

Summary of Major Findings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
Multiracial or Biracial Response Category . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
Sequencing of Race and Hispanic Origin Questions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

Background on the Office of Management and Budget's
Statistical Policy Directive No. 15
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

Census Bureau's Testing Program of Questions on Race and Ethnicity. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Background on Race and Hispanic Origin Issues Addressed by the National
Content Survey. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

National Content Survey Design and Methodology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
Description of Questions and Panels . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
Design of the Mailout Survey and the Reinterview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

Detailed Findings: Multiracial Category in the Race Question . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
Findings on the Multiracial Category Observed in Both Sequences. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
Findings on the Multiracial Category Unique to Sequence with Race First. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
Findings on the Multiracial Category Unique to Sequence with Hispanic Origin First. . . . . . 15
Summary of Findings on the Multiracial Option in the Alternative Sequence . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

Detailed Findings: Sequencing of the Race and Hispanic Origin Questions . . . . . . . . . . . 18
Findings on Sequencing Regardless of Including A Multiracial Category. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
Findings on Sequencing That Depended on the Presence or
Absence of a Multiracial Category in the Race Question. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
Summary of Findings on Sequencing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

Summary of National Content Survey Findings on Alternative Test Questions. . . . . . . . . 19

Relationship to Other Research . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21

CHARTS

  1. Issues Included as Test Objectives in 1996 Census Tests . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

  2. Primary National Content Survey Race and Hispanic Origin Panels. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

  3. Multiracial Category Test Objective . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

  4. Alternative Sequencing Test Objective . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

TEXT TABLES

A.Multiracial Category -- Percent Distribution of Mail Returns by Race and Hispanic
Origin: 1996 National Content Survey . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
B.Alternative Sequencing -- Percent Distribution of Mail Returns by Race and Hispanic
Origin: 1996 National Content Survey . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

APPENDIXES

A.1996 National Content Survey Race and Hispanic Origin Questions
B. 1996 National Content Survey Detailed Tables
Table 1Multiracial Category -- Percent Distribution of Mail Returns by Race and Hispanic Origin for the Race-First Sequence: 1996 National Content Survey
Table 2Multiracial Category -- Rate of Disagreement by Race and Hispanic Origin for the Race-First Sequence: 1996 National Content Survey
Table 3Multiracial Category -- Percent Distribution of Mail Returns by Race and Hispanic Origin for the Hispanic Origin-First Sequence: 1996 National Content Survey
Table 4Multiracial Category -- Rate of Disagreement by Race and Hispanic Origin for the Hispanic Origin-First Sequence: 1996 National Content Survey
Table 5Alternative Sequencing -- Percent Distribution of Mail Returns by Race and Hispanic Origin, Without a Multiracial Category: 1996 National Content Survey
Table 6Alternative Sequencing -- Rate of Disagreement by Race and Hispanic Origin, Without a Multiracial Category: 1996 National Content Survey
Table 7Alternative Sequencing -- Percent Distribution of Mail Returns by Race and Hispanic Origin, With a Multiracial Category: 1996 National Content Survey
Table 8Alternative Sequencing -- Rate of disagreement by Race and Hispanic Origin, With a Multiracial Category: 1996 National Content Survey
Table 9Nonresponse Rate and Rate of Disagreement for the Race Question: 1996 National Content Survey
Table 10Nonresponse Rate and Rate of Disagreement for the Hispanic Origin Question: 1996 National Content Survey
Table 11Multiracial Category -- Percent Distribution of Mail Returns for Persons of Hispanic Origin by Race, for the Race-First Sequence: 1996 National Content Survey
Table 12Multiracial Category -- Percent Distribution of Mail Returns for Persons of Hispanic Origin by Race, for the Hispanic Origin-First Sequence: 1996 National Content Survey
Table 13Alternative Sequencing -- Percent Distribution of Mail Returns for Persons of Hispanic Origin by Race, Without a Multiracial Category: 1996 National Content Survey
Table 14Alternative Sequencing -- Percent Distribution of Mail Returns for Persons of Hispanic Origin by Race, With a Multiracial Category: 1996 National Content Survey
Table 15Item Nonresponse Rate on Mail Returns on the Race Question for Hispanic and Non-Hispanic Origin Persons: 1996 National Content Survey
Table 16Multiracial Category -- Percent Distribution of Mail Returns for Native-Born Persons, for the Race-First Sequence: 1996 National Content Survey
Table 17Multiracial Category -- Percent Distribution of Mail Returns for Foreign-Born Persons, for Race-First Sequence: 1996 National Content Survey
Table 18Multiracial Category -- Percent Distribution of Mail Returns for Native-Born Persons for the Hispanic Origin-First Sequence: 1996 National Content Survey
Table 19Multiracial Category -- Percent Distribution of Mail Returns for Foreign-Born Persons, for the Hispanic Origin-First Sequence: 1996 National Content Survey
Table 20Alternative Sequencing -- Percent Distribution of Mail Returns for Native-Born Persons, by Race and Hispanic Origin, Without a Multiracial Category: 1996 National Content Survey
Table 21Alternative Sequencing -- Percent Distribution of Mail Returns for Foreign-Born Persons, by Race and Hispanic Origin, Without a Multiracial Category: 1996 National Content Survey
Table 22Alternative Sequencing -- Percent Distribution of Mail Returns for Native-Born Persons, by Race and Hispanic Origin, With a Multiracial Category: 1996 National Content Survey
Table 23Alternative Sequencing -- Percent Distribution of Mail Returns for Foreign-Born Persons, by Race and Hispanic Origin, With a Multiracial Category: 1996 National Content Survey
Table 24Item Nonresponse Rate on Mail Returns for the Hispanic Origin Question for Native-Born and Foreign-Born Persons: 1996 National Content Survey
C.1996 National Content Survey Sample Design
D.Population Division: Working Paper Series

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Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division,
Special Populations Staff

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Last Revised: October 31, 2011 at 10:03:16 PM