Census Bureau

Results of the 1996 Race and Ethnic Targeted Test

1. INTRODUCTION AND RESEARCH RESULTS

1.1 Introduction

In response to legislative, programmatic, and administrative requirements in the federal government, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in 1977 issued the "Race and Ethnic Standards for Federal Statistics and Administrative Reporting," that are set forth in Statistical Policy Directive No. 15. These standards have been used for two decades in decennial censuses, in national surveys of the population, and in data collections to meet statutory requirements associated with monitoring and enforcing civil rights in areas such as housing, mortgage lending, educational opportunities, employment, and voting. The four basic racial categories specified in Directive No. 15 are: American Indian or Alaskan Native; Asian or Pacific Islander; Black; and White. The two specified ethnic categories are: Hispanic origin; and Not of Hispanic origin.1 Persons of Hispanic origin may be of any race.

During the past decade, the standards in Directive No. 15 have come under increasing criticism. Some individuals who report data about themselves, and various users of the data, believe that the categories do not adequately reflect the increasing racial and ethnic diversity of the population of the United States.

As a result of these concerns, OMB initiated a comprehensive review of Directive No. 15 and solicited comments on three topics:2

Four public hearings were held and written comments were received from about 800 individuals and organizations. The public comments addressed six issues.

In 1994, OMB established the Interagency Committee for the Review of Racial and Ethnic Standards. The members of the Interagency Committee include more than 30 agencies that represent the many and diverse federal requirements for data on race and ethnicity. The wide range of evidence to be considered by the Interagency Committee will include the results of three sample surveys and other research.

The first of these surveys is the May 1995 Supplement to the Current Population Survey (CPS) sponsored by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Preliminary results were announced in a news release in October 1995, and a final report was published in June 1996.3 The second of these surveys is the 1996 National Content Survey (NCS) conducted by the Bureau of the Census. Results from the NCS were published in December 1996.4

The current report presents results from the third of these three surveys, the 1996 Race and Ethnic Targeted Test (RAETT).5 (Another report with more detailed findings from the RAETT is planned for publication later in 1997.) In developing specific questions on race and ethnicity to be included in Census 2000, the Census Bureau will comply with the results of the OMB review of Directive No. 15. The Census Bureau will also consider results from the NCS and RAETT that address issues other than those included in the OMB review.

In contrast to the CPS and NCS, which had sample designs that were close to being nationally representative, a targeted sample design was used in the RAETT. This design provides larger samples of six targeted populations (Black, American Indian, Alaska Native, Asian and Pacific Islander, Hispanic, and White ethnic) than does a nationally representative sample by drawing the samples from areas with high concentrations of the specified population groups.6 Consequently, the targeted samples are themselves not representative of the specified population groups. While targeted samples permit a more meaningful assessment of the effects of different questions on race and ethnicity for relatively small population groups, the results of the RAETT can be generalized only to the portions of the specified population groups residing in areas with relatively high concentrations of the targeted groups, which represent only a small proportion of each specified population group. The targeted sample design of the RAETT is described in Section 1.2 and in more detail in Chapter 3.

There are four purposes of the RAETT. They are discussed in the following paragraphs, but are listed briefly here:

The first purpose of the RAETT is to determine the effects of allowing respondents to report more than one race in a self-identification context and to assess the utility of these data for legislative and programmatic needs. The RAETT permitted respondents to report race using a separate multiracial category with write-in lines, or by using a "mark one or more" or a "mark all that apply" approach.

Consideration of these options reflects, in part, the increasing racial and ethnic diversity of the population. Large-scale immigration during the past two decades, particularly from Latin America and Asia, and an increase in interracial marriages have led to a higher proportion of the population being of mixed race or ethnicity. Census data show that there were about 1.5 million interracial couples in 1990. In all but 8 percent of these interracial couples, one spouse (or unmarried partner) was White. In 14 percent of interracial couples, the other spouse was Black; in 22 percent, American Indian and Alaska Native; in 31 percent, Asian and Pacific Islander; and in 25 percent, "Other race" (most of whom were of Hispanic origin). Census data also show that the number of children in interracial families increased from less than 500,000 in 1970 to about two million in 1990.7

On the other hand, there is concern that an option to report more than one race would disrupt the historical continuity of the data. Historical continuity of racial and ethnic data is important to many data users, due in part to the increased use of these data in federal legislation, in program development and implementation, and in analyzing changing social and economic conditions of the population. In brief, "These data are required for redistricting for congressional and state elections, for enforcement of federal, state, and local civil rights statutes, for allocation of funds and administration of programs at every level of government and for many related purposes."8 In addition, members of some racial and ethnic communities have argued that an option to report more than one race would provoke internal dissension within their communities and would reduce the official counts of racial and ethnic populations about whom data have been collected using the standards of Directive No. 15.

The second purpose of the RAETT is to determine the effects of placing the Hispanic origin question immediately before the race question. In the 1980 and 1990 censuses, in which the race question preceded the Hispanic origin question, a substantial proportion of Hispanics did not identify with any of the racial categories and reported in the "Other race" category.9 Results from the NCS, and other studies show that placing the Hispanic origin question first reduces nonresponse to the Hispanic origin question and reduces the proportion of Hispanics reporting as "Other race." However, some people have expressed concern that a question about a single ethnic group would be asked before a question intended to provide racial identification for all persons. (Hispanics currently represent about 11 percent of the total population, and the Census Bureau projects that they will represent between 22 percent and 26 percent of the total population in 2050.10

The third purpose of the RAETT is to determine the effects of collecting information about race, Hispanic origin, and ancestry in a combined, two-part question.11 Research shows that some Hispanics expect to see "Hispanic" as a response option to the race question, while other Hispanics wish to identify themselves with one of the race categories as well as with Hispanic origin.12 In the two-part question tested in the RAETT, Part A included response categories for reporting race and Hispanic origin,13 and Part B provided write-in lines to report ancestry. One concern about this approach is whether responses to the write-in lines would be as complete for the detailed Asian and Pacific Islander and Hispanic origin groups as when they are listed explicitly in separate questions on race and Hispanic origin.

The fourth purpose of the RAETT is to test alternative terminologies, classifications, and formats in the race question. Examples of terminology issues include Indian (Amer.) versus American Indian. Hawaiian versus Native Hawaiian is a classification issue. An example of formatting issues is whether or not to alphabetize the listing of Asian and Pacific Islander groups in the race question. Chapter 2 provides a more detailed discussion of the purposes of the RAETT.

The RAETT included eight different panels (with eight different questionnaires) that are labeled with letters A through H. The major differences among these eight panels are shown in Table 1-1 and reflect the first three purposes of the RAETT. Panel G differs from Panel B only in the terminologies, classifications, and formats used in the race question, and is included in the analysis only to test these issues. Differences among the panels, including differences in question wording, are shown in more detail in Table 3-2 in Chapter 3. Each of the eight panels was included in each of the six targeted samples (described in Section 1.2) in the survey, except that only Panels A, B, and D were included for the Alaska Native targeted sample. Facsimiles of the questions on race and ethnicity as they appear in each panel are shown in Appendix A.

Table 1-1. Overview of the Eight Survey Panels (Questionnaires)
Panel Multiracial category Race instruction Sequence of race and
Hispanic origin
questions
A . . . . . . . . . . . . No Mark one Hispanic origin first
B . . . . . . . . . . . . Yes Mark one Hispanic origin first
C . . . . . . . . . . . . No Mark one or more Hispanic origin first
D . . . . . . . . . . . . Yes Mark one Race first
E . . . . . . . . . . . . Yes Mark one Combined
F . . . . . . . . . . . . No Mark one or more Combined
G . . . . . . . . . . . . Yes Mark one Hispanic origin first
H . . . . . . . . . . . . No Mark all that apply Hispanic origin first

 

1.2 Overview of Survey Design and Methodology

A brief description of the RAETT survey design and methodology is given here to provide a context for the findings, which are presented in the following sections of this chapter.

1.2.1 Survey Design

The RAETT was a mail-out/mail-back survey of households. Because not all households in the survey completed and returned their questionnaires (the overall mail response rate was about 53 percent), the results discussed in this report represent and can be generalized only to responding households.

The RAETT sample of 112,100 households was drawn from census tracts, American Indian reservations, and Alaska Native villages that the 1990 census showed to have high proportions (relative to the nation as a whole) of households in one of six specified racial or ethnic groups: Black, American Indian, Alaska Native, Asian and Pacific Islander, Hispanic origin, or White ethnic.14 (Separate targeted samples were included for American Indians and Alaska Natives because of different issues concerning terminology, as discussed in Section 2.2.4.) For each of these specified population groups, the census tracts that satisfied the "high proportion" criterion became a sampling frame from which a sample of households was selected. The samples are referred to as "targeted" samples because of this design. For example, the Black targeted sample included census tracts that had a relatively high proportion of Black households (in addition to some households of the other specified population groups).

The design of the RAETT used targeted samples because more nationally representative samples, like those used in the CPS and the NCS, do not provide samples of sufficient size to permit the analysis of possible effects of changes in questions on race and ethnicity for smaller population groups. Examples of smaller population groups for which targeted samples are particularly important in obtaining larger samples include American Indian, Alaska Native, and detailed groups within the Asian and Pacific Islander and the Hispanic populations.

Because of the targeted sample design in the RAETT, the results presented here would not be generalizable to the national population, even if all households had completed and returned their questionnaires. More specifically, even with a 100 percent response rate, the results of the RAETT for each targeted sample would generalize only to the population in census tracts in each targeted sample frame. The sample frames represent no more than 15 percent of each specified population group in the nation as a whole. More specifically, the sample frames represent 3 percent or less of American Indian, Asian and Pacific Islander, and White ethnic households, 8 percent of Alaska Native households, 10 percent of Black households, and 15 percent of Hispanic households.

While the results from the RAETT may in some cases be similar among different targeted samples, the sample design of the RAETT does not permit results for different targeted samples to be combined. Because the data can only be analyzed within each targeted sample, the results are reported separately for each one. Within each targeted sample, the results focus on the racial or ethnic group targeted: the Black population in the Black targeted sample, the American Indian and Alaska Native population in the American Indian targeted sample and in the Alaska Native targeted sample, the Asian and Pacific Islander population in the Asian and Pacific Islander targeted sample, the Hispanic population in the Hispanic targeted sample, and the White population in the White ethnic targeted sample. For a more detailed discussion of the sample design of the RAETT, see Chapter 3 and Appendix B.

1.2.2 Survey Methodology

The RAETT was designed to test effects of both a multiracial category and new instructions to mark more than one race category. The four specific race categories currently allowed under Directive No. 15 and "Other race" were included in the race questions tested. Hispanic origin was included among these racial categories in Panels E and F. In Panels B, D, E, and G, an explicit multiracial category was added. New instructions were added to the race question in Panels C and F to "Mark one or more races" and in Panel H to "Mark all that apply."

Early review of the data showed that respondents had marked more than one race category in the panels where they were instructed to only "Mark ONE box." This phenomenon occurred in Panel A, which did not include any of the experimental options, and in Panels B, D, E, and G, which provided a multiracial category. It became apparent that reporting more than one race could not be attributed solely to the experimental treatments, hereafter referred to as unrequested multiple responses.

In this report, rates of reporting more than one race, and the effects of those responses on race distributions, include instances in which the respondent marked more than one race category regardless of the instructions or chose the multiracial category. Differences in the rates of reporting more than one race across panels were used to measure the effects of the experimental treatments.

In order to determine whether observed differences between panels could be due to sampling error, confidence intervals at the 90-percent significance level are used. If observed differences are greater than might be expected due to sampling error, the differences are said to be statistically significant at the 90-percent confidence level. This statement means that there is less than a 10 percent chance that the observed difference would have been due to sampling error alone. All differences or effects reported in the text are statistically significant at the 90-percent confidence level. Statements that a treatment had no effect indicate that such differences were not statistically significant at the 90-percent confidence level. For more information on sampling error in the RAETT, see Section 3.4.

1.3 Research Results from the Targeted Samples: Options for Reporting More Than One Race

As noted earlier, the first purpose of the RAETT is to determine the effects of allowing respondents to report more than one race in a self-administered context, as distinguished from the respondent providing the information to an interviewer as was the case in the CPS supplement. The presentation of findings requires distinguishing several terms for clarity in this report. The term "reporting more than one race" is used as a general term to refer to three different ways that respondents in the RAETT reported more than one race. First, they could mark a response box labeled multiracial (Panels B, D, E, and G), and choose to write in specific races. Second, they could mark two or more response boxes in the race question in response to an instruction to "mark one or more" or "mark all that apply" (Panels C, F, and H). Third, some respondents provided multiple responses even when instructed to "mark one" (Panels A, B, D, E, and G).

The following bullets summarize the most important results of the different options for reporting more than one race. (In Panels E and F, Hispanic origin is treated as a race group.) The racial and ethnic distributions presented are meaningful only in relationship to one another within the experimental design of the RAETT and only within each targeted sample (Black, American Indian, Alaska Native, Asian and Pacific Islander, Hispanic, and White ethnic). These distributions will not correspond to the distributions reported in other surveys or censuses, and hence such comparisons should not be made. Recall also that the findings from the RAETT's targeted samples cannot be generalized to the entire targeted population, only to the portion of it living in areas with relatively high concentrations of the targeted group.

The next three subsections provide more detailed results on the reporting of race in each of the targeted samples. Specifically:

1.3.1 Responses to the Questions on Race

The reporting of race in each of the targeted samples is shown in the top half of Tables 1-2 through 1-7.15 (These tables are shown at the end of Chapter 1.) In each targeted sample, the proportion of responses for the targeted group alone is shown in bold because this group is the focus in that sample and in our analyses in subsequent sections. The tables also show the proportion of responses in each of the other major race categories, as well as the proportion who reported in the targeted race category in combination with other race categories. These racial and ethnic distributions are representative neither of the general population, nor of the targeted populations. They reflect the responses that were given to the race questions in the different panels of the RAETT, and are provided for descriptive purposes only. Statistical comparisons of the effects of each option for reporting more than one race are given in Section 1.3.3.

As noted earlier, respondents could report more than one race either by marking more than one race response box, or, on some panels, by marking a separate multiracial response box and choosing to write in specific races. Some respondents marked more than one box even when instructed to mark only one, and even when they were given a separate multiracial response box. As noted below, the proportion of "unrequested" multiple responses was sometimes quite high and approached the proportion of responses in the multiracial category. The entries in the tables labeled "reporting more than one race" include all these ways of responding.

Across the targeted samples, the proportion of responses of more than one race ranged from less than 3 percent (in the White ethnic and the Black targeted samples) to about 13 percent (in the Asian and Pacific Islander and the Alaska Native targeted samples). Multiple responses were even higher (17 percent or more) in the Hispanic targeted sample on the panels with the combined race and Hispanic origin questions. These responses usually involved marking both the Hispanic box and one race box.

The Black targeted sample

Less than 3 percent of the race responses in the Black targeted sample included more than one race (Table 1-2).

The American Indian targeted sample

Between 2 percent and 5 percent of the race responses in the American Indian targeted sample included more than one race on the panels with separate race and Hispanic origin questions (Table 1-3). About 7 percent of the responses indicated more than one race in the combined race and Hispanic origin question on Panel F. About one-fourth of these responses included the marked boxes for American Indian and Alaska Native and for Hispanic.

The Alaska Native targeted sample

In the Alaska Native targeted sample, reporting more than one race represented about 9 percent of the responses to the race question in Panel D, and about 13 percent in Panel B (Table 1-4). Providing unrequested multiple responses was relatively high, representing about 5 percent and 6 percent of the responses in Panels A and B, respectively. These three panels were the only ones administered in the Alaska Native sample, because this was one of the more difficult populations to target, and dividing the sample across more panels would have compromised the ability of the RAETT to detect the effects of any of the experimental treatments.

Most of the respondents in the Alaska Native sample who reported more than one race on Panel B (12 percent out of a total of 13 percent) provided a write-in that included an American Indian and Alaska Native entry; these were most frequently combined with an "Other race" or multiracial category entry (about 6 percentage points), with a White entry (about 5 percentage points), or with an Asian or Pacific Islander entry (about 1 percentage point). The pattern was similar on Panel D: 8.0 percentage points of the total of 8.7 percent who reported more than one race provided an American Indian or Alaska Native write-in, most frequently with a White entry (about 4 percentage points), an Asian or Pacific Islander entry (about 2 percentage points), or an "Other race" or "multiracial" entry (about 1 percentage point).

The Asian and Pacific Islander targeted sample

The proportion of responses in the Asian and Pacific Islander targeted sample that included more than one race was between about 4 percent in Panel A and about 12 percent in Panel D (Table 1-5). The most frequent responses of more than one race across all panels included an Asian and Pacific Islander entry combined with a White, an "Other race" or a multiracial category entry.

The Hispanic targeted sample

On panels with separate race and Hispanic origin questions, reporting more than one race on the race question in the Hispanic targeted sample ranged from about 2 percent to about 5 percent (Table 1-6). Reporting of more than one race was substantially higher (18 percent to 19 percent) on the panels with the combined race and Hispanic origin questions (Panels E and F), primarily because of responses that included both a race and a Hispanic origin. The overwhelming majority of the multiple responses in Panels E and F involved reporting as Hispanic and as White.

The multiple responses on Panel E were almost entirely unrequested multiple responses; only about 1 percent of the responses involved the multiracial category. These unrequested multiple responses suggest that even if the option is not offered, a relatively high percentage of Hispanics will use multiple marks to report both a race and a Hispanic origin when they do not have separate questions that enable them to do so.

The White ethnic targeted sample

About 2 percent or less of the responses in the White ethnic targeted sample included more than one race (Table 1-7).

1.3.2 Illustrative Approaches to Classifying Data on Race

Presenting data from multiple responses is inherently more complex than doing so when all responses represent single categories. This section describes three different approaches to tabulating the multiple responses given in the RAETT. We stress that these approaches are presented for illustrative purposes only, and that their presentation does not imply that these or any other approaches should be adopted for classifying the reported data. Instead, these methods simply provide examples of classification procedures that could be developed as bridges between the current and any new classification scheme. The examples might help in indicating the feasibility of constructing such bridges, as well as challenges that might have to be addressed. If some option for reporting more than one race were to be adopted in a revised Directive, then some approach for classifying these responses into the current OMB categories might be useful for some data users.

The distributions generated by these three classification schemes are shown on the bottom of Tables 1-2 through 1-7.

Single race approach

The first of these three approaches is called the "single race" approach. This approach would classify responses that reported only one of the four races specified in Directive No. 15 or "Other race" into the designated category. Reports of more than one race (however they reported) would be classified into a separate "multiple race" category. This approach would classify each response into one and only one race category. For example, a response of White and Asian would be classified as "multiple race", while one of Asian only would be classified as Asian and Pacific Islander.

The racial distribution under the "single race" approach would approximate the distribution which might result from the addition of a "multiple race" category to those allowed under Directive No. 15. Since the "multiple race" category could draw from any of the four major race categories, the percentages for the major race categories under the "single race" option could be smaller than the percent that would report under current Directive No. 15, without a "multiple race" category.

Historical series approach

The second approach is called the "historical series" classification. A historical series might be useful to some data users, including federal agencies that use data on race and ethnicity to monitor and enforce civil rights legislation, because it emphasizes classification into the race categories that have been used to monitor changes under extant legislation.

It is important to stress that there is no reason to believe that the historical series approach would classify all respondents who reported more than one race into the single race category that they would select if required to report only one race. For example, a respondent who reported White and Chinese would be classified in the historical series approach in the Asian and Pacific Islander category; however, it is possible that this respondent would report as White or as "Other race" if required to report in only one race category. The classifications used for the historical series approach would include:

For Panels E and F, in which the race and Hispanic origin questions were combined into one question, Hispanic origin is included in the list as though it is a race group, and is treated accordingly. For these panels the Hispanic classification is defined as:

The "historical series" approach classifies each response into one and only one classification in a set of mutually exclusive and exhaustive categories that add to 100 percent. For example, the historical series approach would classify a response of Black and White in the category for Blacks, and classify a response of Black and American Indian in the category for multiple race reporting.

All- inclusive approach

The third approach is called the "all-inclusive" approach. This approach classifies each response into all of the race or Hispanic origin categories reported. As a result, a response reporting a number of racial categories would be counted in each of them, and the sum of the percentages for each of the racial categories currently allowed under Directive No. 15 and "Other race" could exceed 100 percent. For example, a response of Black and American Indian would be tabulated as Black and also be tabulated as American Indian. For any given targeted sample and panel, this method yields the largest percentage of the targeted racial or ethnic group. For the Hispanic category in Panels E and F, with a combined race and Hispanic origin question, the all-inclusive category would be most comparable to the Hispanic results from the other panels, which used two separate questions.

Results of the illustrative approaches

The results of using these different approaches in each targeted sample are shown in the bottom of Tables 1-2 through 1-7. Recall again that the distributions based on these approaches are descriptive of these targeted samples only and are not representative of the targeted populations.

Historical series distributions are compared statistically in Section 1.3.3 to help analyze the effects of the different options for reporting more than one race.

In the Black targeted sample, the percentage of responses reporting Black as a single race ranged from 71 percent in Panel D to about 74 percent in Panel G (Table 1-2); it was 72 percent on Panel A. The percentages tabulated as Black using the historical series approach ranged from 72 percent to 74 percent, while the percentage tabulated as Black in the all-inclusive approach ranged from 72 percent to 75 percent.

In the American Indian targeted sample, the proportion of responses that reported American Indian or Alaska Native as a single race was 36 percent on Panel A, and ranged from about 33 percent in Panel B to 37 percent in Panel C (Table 1-3). The percentages of American Indian and Alaska Native responses tabulated using the historical approach and the all-inclusive approach both ranged from about 36 percent to about 41 percent in this targeted sample.

In the Alaska Native targeted sample, the proportion of responses of American Indian or Alaska Native as a single race ranged from 65 percent in Panel B to 79 percent in Panel A (Table 1-4). Tabulating responses in the Alaska Native targeted sample according to the "historical series" described above would assign to this category 84 percent of the responses in Panel A, 76 percent of the responses in Panel B, and 75 percent in Panel D. The all-inclusive approach yielded very similar results.

In the Asian and Pacific Islander targeted sample, the single race reporting of Asian and Pacific Islander ranged from about 58 percent in Panel E to about 65 percent in Panel A (Table 1-5). The historical series approach classified as Asian and Pacific Islander about 62 percent of the responses in Panel E, about 68 percent the responses in Panel A, and about 73 percent of those in Panel C. The corresponding percentages from the all-inclusive approach were about 63 percent (Panel E), 68 percent (Panel A), and 74 percent (Panel C).

In the Hispanic targeted sample, the major focus is on reporting of ethnicity. A combined race and Hispanic origin question must, of necessity, produce lower reporting in the Hispanic category or in one of the major race groups than separate race and Hispanic origin questions. On separate questions, many of the responses include both a Hispanic and a race entry, so the total is more than 100 percent. Consequently, the most similar tabulations are the all-inclusive approach (which classified about 75 percent as Hispanic on Panels E and F) and the percent reporting as Hispanic on the separate question on the other panels (between 74 percent and 78 percent). The historical series classified about 74 percent of the responses on both Panels E and F as Hispanic.

In the White ethnic targeted sample, the percentage reporting White as a single race ranged between about 94 percent (Panel E) and 97 percent (Panel G). The percentages tabulated as White using the historical series approach and the all-inclusive approach were similar, ranging between 96 and 99 percent (Table 1-7).

1.3.3 Effects of the Options for Reporting More Than One Race in the Targeted Samples

The effects of the multiracial category were determined primarily by statistically comparing responses to Panel B with those to Panel A. Although Panels D and G included a multiracial category, they also included other changes, so the A and B comparison shows the effect of the multiracial category without confounding effects. Panel C was compared to Panel A to determine the effects of the "mark one or more" instruction. Panel H was compared to Panel A to determine the effects of the "mark all that apply" instruction.

As noted earlier, these targeted samples were designed to test more adequately the effects of reporting more than one race. Often, nationally representative samples cannot provide a sufficiently large sample of relatively small population groups to determine the possible effects of these options.

In what follows, statistically significant differences between panels in the percentages reporting in a particular category indicate that data for that targeted population may be affected by the option for reporting more than one race. However, one cannot determine from these results the true size of the effect in any of these populations because the targeted samples are neither representative of the populations targeted, nor of the population in general. The results of the statistical comparisons of panels in the RAETT must be interpreted only within each particular targeted sample and with these qualifications in mind.

General findings

The results from the RAETT revealed that neither the multiracial category (Panel B) nor the multiple response options (Panels C and H) had any statistically significant effects in the White ethnic, Black, or American Indian targeted samples on the percentages who reported a single race of White, Black, or American Indian and Alaska Native, respectively. In contrast, the results indicated that the multiracial reporting options affected single-race reporting in the Asian and Pacific Islander and the Alaska Native targeted samples. There was evidence that including a multiracial category on the race question statistically affected the reporting in detailed Hispanic origin groups, but not the total reporting of Hispanic.

These results are described in more detail below. Findings are reported for targeted samples where the options for reporting more than one race had statistically significant effects. The detailed tables in Appendix C provide more information, including standard errors of estimates and confidence intervals for differences in estimates between pairs of panels for all targeted samples.

Effect of a multiracial category on race reporting

Adding a multiracial category to the race question (Panel B) reduced the reporting of Asian or Pacific Islander as a single race in the Asian or Pacific Islander targeted sample from 65 percent (in Panel A) to 60 percent (Table 1-8). Much of this decline is attributable to a drop in reporting as Hawaiian, from about 9 percent in Panel A to about 6 percent on Panel B. At the same time, reporting of more than one race increased from 4 percent in Panel A to 11 percent in Panel B.

In the Alaska Native targeted sample, the reporting of American Indian or Alaska Native as a single race was also lower in Panel B (65 percent) than in Panel A (79 percent) (Table 1-4). In the American Indian targeted sample, however, the multiracial category had no statistically significant effect on the reporting of American Indian or Alaska Native (Table 1-3).

Effect of the multiple response options on race reporting

One of the multiple response options affected the distribution of races reported in the Asian and Pacific Islander targeted sample, but neither option had an effect on reporting of the targeted populations in any of the other targeted samples in which these options were tested. In the Asian and Pacific Islander targeted sample, the "mark all that apply" (Panel H) instruction reduced reporting of Asian and Pacific Islander as a single race from 65 percent in Panel A to 58 percent (Table 1-8). In contrast, the "mark one or more" instruction (Panel C) did not affect the total percentage of responses with a single race of Asian and Pacific Islander (about 65 percent). Reporting as Hawaiian dropped on both panels offering multiple response options. However, this decline was counterbalanced by the higher percentage in the "Other Asian and Pacific Islander" category in Panel C, which included the instruction to "mark one or more," and thus did not affect the total percentage reporting as Asian or Pacific Islander. The corresponding increase in the "Other Asian and Pacific Islander" category on Panel H (about 8 percent), which included the instruction to "mark all that apply," only partially counterbalanced its decline in reporting as Hawaiian.16

In summary, of the three options for reporting more than one race, only the instruction to "Mark one or more..." had no effect on the total reporting as Asian and Pacific Islander in that targeted sample. Therefore, this option may be the one least likely to affect the historical continuity of data on race and ethnicity that some federal agencies use to monitor and enforce civil rights. However, as noted earlier, neither multiple response option was tested in the Alaska Native targeted sample, where unrequested multiple responses and selection of the multiracial category had effects on reporting as American Indian and Alaska Native.

Effects of the options for reporting more than one race on reporting of Hispanic origin

In the Hispanic targeted sample, nonresponse to the Hispanic origin question was higher in Panel B (about 8 percent), which included a multiracial category on the race question, than in Panel A, which did not (about 6 percent) (Table 1-9). The multiple response options did not affect nonresponse to the Hispanic origin question.

None of the options for reporting more than one race affected the total percentage of responses of Hispanic to the separate Hispanic origin question. However, reporting as Mexican was higher in Panel B than in Panel A, and reporting as Puerto Rican was lower in both Panel B and Panel H, which offered the option to "mark all that apply," than in Panel A (Table 1-9).17

Comparison of alternative racial classification procedures

Statistical comparisons of the historical series approach were made for panels in targeted samples that showed statistically significant differences in single race reporting. These comparisons were conducted to determine whether the differences remained when some responses reporting more than one race were classified in the current OMB race categories and "Other race" using the historical series approach. That approach serves here only as an illustration of the many alternative racial classification procedures that could be developed for analytical purposes.

For the Asian and Pacific Islander targeted sample, the historical series approach eliminated the statistically significant differences in the proportions of responses classified as Asian and Pacific Islander when Panel B and Panel H were compared to Panel A (Table 1-5). However, the proportion of responses classified as Asian or Pacific Islander using the historical approach was significantly higher in Panel C than in Panel A.

Similar analyses were conducted in the Alaska Native targeted sample. Although the historical series classification reduced, it did not eliminate the statistically significant differences in the proportions of responses classified as American Indian and Alaska Native on Panels B and D compared with Panel A (Table 1-4).

1.4 Research Results from the Targeted Samples: Effects of Placing the Hispanic Origin Question Immediately Before the Race Question

The second purpose of the RAETT is to determine the effects of placing the Hispanic origin question immediately before the race question. These effects were determined by comparing Panel D (race question first) and Panel B (Hispanic origin question first). Both of these panels also contained a multiracial category.

The analyses in this section focus on the Hispanic targeted sample, and the findings are reported for this sample only. However, the detailed tables in Appendix C show the comparisons of these two panels for all targeted samples.

Consistent with prior research, the analyses of the Hispanic targeted sample in the RAETT showed that placing the Hispanic origin question before the race question reduced, but did not eliminate nonresponse to the Hispanic origin question and reporting in the "Other race" category on the race question.18 Further details are given below.

Effect of the sequence of questions on nonresponse to the race and Hispanic origin questions

Asking the Hispanic origin question before the race question reduced the nonresponse rate to the Hispanic origin question in the Hispanic targeted sample from about 10 percent in Panel D (where the race question preceded the Hispanic origin question) to about 7 percent on Panel B (Table 1-9). The Hispanic first sequence had no effect on the nonresponse rate to the race question in the Hispanic origin targeted sample.

Effect of the sequence of questions on race reporting

In the Hispanic targeted sample, asking the Hispanic origin question before the race question reduced reporting of more than one race and as "Other race," and increased reporting as "White." In Panel D (race question first), about 56 percent of responses were White, about 25 percent were "Other race," and about 5 percent reported more than one race (Table 1-10). In contrast, in Panel B (Hispanic origin question first), about 67 percent reported as White, about 16 percent reported as "Other race," and about 4 percent reported as more than one race.

1.5 Research Results from the Targeted Samples: Effects of Combining the Questions on Race and Hispanic Origin

The third purpose of the RAETT is to determine the effects of collecting information about race, Hispanic origin, and ancestry in a combined, two-part question. The RAETT tested two versions of a combined question. Both provided response boxes for the current OMB race groups, for Hispanic origin, and for "Some other race." Both also included a write-in line for American Indian or Alaska Native tribe. One version (Panel E) included a multiracial category, while the other (Panel F) included an instruction to "mark one or more." Both were followed by Part B of the question, which asked respondents to report their "ancestry or ethnic group" on write-in lines provided for that purpose. One objective of the ancestry write-in was to determine how detailed Asian and Pacific Islander and Hispanic origin groups would be reported.

The effects of combining the race and Hispanic origin questions were determined by comparing Panels E and F with the corresponding panels that included separate race and Hispanic origin questions -- Panel E with B for the multiracial category, and Panel F with C for the "mark one or more" option. The detailed tables in Appendix C show the results of the statistical tests for these panel comparisons for all targeted samples. As noted earlier, the statistical comparisons of panels in the RAETT are meaningful only within each targeted sample. Significant differences between panels indicate that reporting in particular categories may be affected by combining the race and Hispanic origin questions. However, one cannot determine from these results the true size of the effect in any of these populations because the targeted samples are neither representative of their populations, nor of the population in general. The section focuses on results for the Hispanic targeted sample.

The most important results include:

Effect of a combined question on race and Hispanic origin on the reporting of Hispanic Origin

A combined race and Hispanic origin question must, of necessity, produce lower reporting in the Hispanic category or in one or more of the major race groups than separate race and Hispanic origin questions. On separate questions, many of the responses include both race and Hispanic origin entries, so that the total is more than 100 percent. Because the all-inclusive approach uses all information reported to classify responses as Hispanic or as not Hispanic, it could provide similar data to that which would be obtained if separate questions on race and Hispanic origin were used. Therefore, the most direct comparison of Hispanic reporting in the separate question is the all-inclusive approach in the combined question.

There were no statistical differences between the all-inclusive approach for the combined panels with the appropriate panels containing separate questions. Specifically, Panels B and E, which both contained a multiracial category, and Panels C and F, which both contained the instruction to "mark one or more," all had responses ranging from 74 percent to 76 percent. If one were to classify as Hispanic only single responses of Hispanic (responses that did not include any multiple entries), then a much lower proportion (about 57 percent) of responses would be Hispanic in Panels E and F.

Effect of a combined question on race and Hispanic origin on the reporting of race

Reporting as White alone (94 percent) was lower on the combined question (Panel E) than on the corresponding separate race question (Panel B, about 97 percent) in the White ethnic targeted sample (Table 1-7). However, there were no significant differences between Panels C and F in reporting as White alone in this targeted sample, with both about 96 percent. In addition, both combined questions reduced reporting as Asian and Pacific Islander in the Asian and Pacific Islander targeted sample from 60 percent in Panel B to 58 percent in Panel E, and from about 65 percent in Panel C to 60 percent in Panel F (Table 1-5).

In summary, a combined race and Hispanic origin question will produce lower reporting in the Hispanic category alone or in one of the major race groups alone than separate race and Hispanic origin questions where responses as Hispanic and in the race categories can total more than 100 percent. The pattern of declines in reporting as White and as Asian or Pacific Islander on the combined questions suggests that the pool of persons who report as Hispanic and in these two race groups on separate questions split on a combined question, with some reporting as Hispanic, some in the race group, and some marking more than one, even when this option is not offered. In contrast, the absence of significant declines in reporting as Black and as American Indian in the respective targeted samples for those populations suggests that people in those targeted samples who report as Hispanic on a separate Hispanic origin question are relatively small in number or are more likely to report their race than their Hispanic origin on a combined question.

Nonresponse to the two-part combined question on race, Hispanic origin, and ancestry

In every targeted sample, the nonresponse rates to the combined question were considerably lower than the nonresponse rates to the separate questions on race and Hispanic origin (Table 1-11). In the Hispanic targeted sample, the nonresponse rate to the race question was about 13 percent in both Panels B and C compared with about 1 percent in Panels E and F. Nonresponse to the Hispanic origin question was over 6 percent on Panels B and C in the Hispanic targeted sample.

Reporting of detailed Asian and Pacific Islander and detailed Hispanic groups in the ancestry write-ins

An important question for evaluating the two-part, combined race and Hispanic origin questions (Panels E and F) is whether "ancestry or ethnic group" write-ins in Part B provided data on the detailed Asian and Pacific Islander groups and the detailed Hispanic origin groups comparable to the data from the separate race and Hispanic origin questions.19

About 4 percent of the Asian and Pacific Islander responses in that targeted sample did not include write-ins to the ancestry component of the combined question on Panel E, which included a multiracial category. The percentages obtained from the ancestry write-ins for most specific Asian and Pacific Islander groups were lower on the combined race and Hispanic origin question with the multiracial category (Panel E) than on the corresponding separate race question (Panel B).20 There were significant differences in the proportion of responses for all of the detailed Asian and Pacific Islander groups using the ancestry write-in in Panel E compared with the detailed listing on a separate question with the exception of those for Hawaiian, Vietnamese, and Japanese in Panel B (Table 1-8).

About 3 percent of Asian and Pacific Islander responses in that targeted sample, did not provide write-ins to the ancestry component of the combined question on Panel F, which included the instruction to "mark one or more." The ancestry write-ins on this panel provided percentages for most specific Asian and Pacific Islander groups similar to those on the panel with the corresponding separate race question (Panel C), with the exceptions of Guamanians and of Other Asian and Pacific Islander (Table 1-8).

About 11 percent (Panel E) and about 13 percent (Panel F) of the Hispanic responses in the Hispanic targeted sample did not include write-ins to the ancestry component of the combined question. Because of these relatively high rates of nonresponse to the ancestry component of the combined question, the percentages of each specific Hispanic origin group obtained from these write-ins were consistently lower than those obtained from the response boxes on the separate Hispanic origin questions on Panels B and C (Table 1-9).21

1.6 Research Results from the Targeted Samples: Terminology, Classification, and Formatting

The fourth purpose of the RAETT is to test alternative terminologies, classifications, and formats in the race question. The RAETT included a questionnaire (Panel G) designed to test these issues. These options and the results pertaining to them are presented below. To determine the effect of these options, comparisons were made between Panels B and G, both of which included a separate multiracial category.

Spelling out "American Indian"

On the experimental panels except Panel G, the category was termed "Indian (Amer.) or Alaska Native." Panel G spelled out "American Indian or Alaska Native," but the changes in Panel G had no effect on reporting as American Indian and Alaska Native in the American Indian targeted sample (Table 1-12).

Substituting "Native Hawaiian" for "Hawaiian" and listing this category immediately after the "American Indian and Alaska Native" category

Substituting "Native Hawaiian" for "Hawaiian" and listing this category immediately after the "American Indian and Alaska Native" category increased reporting as Hawaiian from about 6 percent (Panel B) to about 7 percent in Panel G (Table 1-13 ). This increase in Panel G might reflect the use of "Native Hawaiian" instead of "Hawaiian" for the category, its placement directly after the category for "American Indian and Alaska Native" instead of in the midst of the list of Asian and Pacific Islander groups, or both changes. The percentages on Panels B and G, which both included a multiracial category, were lower, however, than the percentage reporting as Hawaiian on Panel A (9 percent), which did not include a multiracial category.

Alphabetizing the Asian and Pacific Islander groups after "Native Hawaiian"

Alphabetizing the Asian and Pacific Islander groups after "Native Hawaiian" had no effect on the total percentage reporting as Asian and Pacific Islander in that targeted sample. Reporting as Samoan was lower on Panel G (0.5 percent) than on Panel B (1.4 percent) (Table 1-13). However, the specific change in Panel G that might have produced this result is not apparent.

Using "Guamanian or Chamorro" instead of "Guamanian"

Given the very small numbers involved, no statistically significant difference was found between reporting as "Guamanian or Chamorro" on Panel G and as "Guamanian" on Panel B (Table 1-13).

1.7 Relationship to Other Research

The RAETT was one of three major surveys conducted to test alternative questions on race and ethnicity as part of OMB's review of Statistical Policy Directive No. 15. The other two were: the National Content Survey (NCS), a mail-out survey conducted in March 1996 by the Bureau of the Census to test and evaluate the full subject content for Census 2000; and the May 1995 Race and Ethnicity Supplement to the Current Population Survey (CPS), sponsored by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The sample for the NCS was 94,500 households drawn from census mailback areas representing about 95 percent of the country. The tests of alternative questions on race and ethnicity were primarily based on 4 of the 13 panels of the NCS. The results of these tests were based on the 18,000 households that responded on these four panels (about 72 percent of the approximately 24,000 households to which the four questionnaire versions were mailed). The CPS Supplement interviewed about 60,000 households in a Computer Assisted Telephone Interview (CATI) (about 80 percent of the sample) or Computer Assisted Personal Interview (CAPI) (20 percent of the sample).

In contrast to the CPS and NCS, which had sample designs that within some limitations were close to being nationally representative, the sample design of the RAETT targeted specific populations in order to obtain larger samples of small populations (e.g., American Indians and Alaska Natives) than nationally representative samples provide.22 The targeted samples that the RAETT provided are more likely to be sufficiently large to detect effects that different questions on race and ethnicity might have on the targeted populations. However, the results for the targeted sample can only be generalized to the areas of relatively high concentrations of the targeted populations used to select each sample. Due to the high nonresponse rate in the RAETT, even such generalizations should be made with caution.

The RAETT tested two different approaches to allowing respondents to report more than one race. The first approach, a multiracial category, was tested in the NCS and the CPS Supplement. The second approach, tested only in the RAETT, provided instructions to "mark one or more" or to "mark all that apply."

Use of the options to report more than one race was highest and had the most important effects in the Asian and Pacific Islander and in the Alaska Native targeted samples. The RAETT also found that notable percentages of respondents marked more than one box on panels (such as Panels A, B and E) that instructed them to "Mark ONE box." These unrequested multiple responses nearly approached the percentage of respondents who selected the multiracial category on Panel B in the Alaska Native targeted sample and were also substantial in the Asian and Pacific Islander targeted sample.

Given these high rates of unrequested multiple responses, the Census Bureau manually identified and tallied unrequested multiple responses on two panels of the NCS. About 0.5 percent of the responses on these two panels were unrequested multiple responses, a level consistent with informal estimates of unrequested multiple responses to the 1990 race question. This suggests that the higher rates observed in several targeted samples of the RAETT reflect the greater likelihood of unrequested multiple responses in the targeted populations, rather than an increase since 1990 in providing unrequested multiple responses.

The RAETT results were consistent in two important ways with findings from previous research on adding a multiracial category to the race question. First, the RAETT found that neither the multiracial category nor the options to mark more than one box had any statistically significant effects on the percentages of persons who reported as White or as Black in their respective targeted samples. The CPS Supplement and the NCS found that a multiracial category had no effects on reporting of race in these two categories.

Second, the RAETT found that the panels with the multiracial reporting options had significant effects on reporting by two groups for whom either the CPS or the NCS also provided some evidence of possible effects: American Indians and Alaska Natives, and Asians and Pacific Islanders. The CPS found lower reporting as American Indian, Eskimo, or Aleut on panels that included a multiracial category on the race question. The sample of this population in the NCS was too small to detect differences that the multiracial category or other treatments might have had on reporting as American Indian, Eskimo, and Aleut.

The RAETT included separate targeted samples for American Indians and, on selected panels, for Alaska Natives, and different results were found for the two samples. The RAETT found that none of the multiracial reporting options significantly affected reporting in the targeted sample for American Indians. Differences in the sample designs might contribute to the differences between the RAETT and the CPS findings for this population: rates of intermarriage and reporting as multiracial might be higher among American Indians living in urban areas (more likely to be in the CPS sample) than among those living on or near reservations (targeted in the RAETT).

The targeted sample of Alaska Natives received two of the questionnaires that included a multiracial category, and the questionnaire for Panel A. Reporting more than one race in the Alaska Native sample was among the highest observed in all the targeted samples, and contributed to statistically significant declines in reporting as American Indian and Alaska Native. The use of a combined American Indian and Alaska Native category on Panels B and D, in contrast to the separate categories for American Indians, for Eskimos, and for Aleuts on Panel A, may also have contributed to the decline.

The RAETT found that both adding a multiracial category to the race question and providing instructions to "mark all that apply" reduced reporting of Asian and Pacific Islander as a single race in the targeted sample for that population. However, providing instructions to "mark one or more" had no such effect. The NCS report noted that the declines observed in reporting as Asian and Pacific Islander on panels that included a multiracial category on the race question were not statistically significant, but that analysis of write-in responses suggested this effect might be significant in a study providing a larger sample of Asians and Pacific Islanders.

Taken together, the results from the CPS Supplement, the NCS, and the RAETT suggest that providing multiracial reporting options would not affect the percentages reporting as White or as Black, but may well affect reporting in populations with higher intermarriage rates, most notably American Indians and Alaska Natives, and Asians and Pacific Islanders.

A historical series approach to classifying based on information from the multiple responses and the write-ins eliminated most of the statistically significant effects that the options for reporting more than one race had on the percentages classified as Asian and Pacific Islander in that targeted sample. However, this approach reduced but did not eliminate the effects observed in the Alaska Native targeted sample on reporting as American Indians and Alaska Natives. Of the three options for reporting more than one race, only the instruction to "mark one or more" had no effect on the total reporting of Asian and Pacific Islander in that targeted sample; consequently, it might be the option least likely to disrupt the historical series of data on race and ethnicity that some federal agencies rely upon to monitor and enforce civil rights. This option was not tested in the Alaska Native targeted sample, however.

The RAETT also tested two very different strategies for addressing problems that some respondents seem to have in answering separate race and Hispanic origin questions: the first was sequencing the Hispanic origin question immediately before the race question, and adding an instruction on the importance of answering both questions; the second was combining the race and Hispanic origin questions into a single question. The NCS tested sequencing, and the CPS also tested a combined race and Hispanic origin question.

The RAETT results on placing the Hispanic origin question first were consistent with prior research, including the NCS. The Hispanic origin-first sequence reduced nonresponse to the Hispanic origin question, without affecting rates of response to the race question.23 It also reduced, but did not eliminate, reporting as "Other race" by Hispanics.

The combined race and Hispanic origin questions had far lower nonresponse rates in every targeted sample than did the corresponding separate race and Hispanic origin questions (Panels B and C), including those on which the Hispanic origin question was placed first. However, in the Hispanic targeted sample, reporting of more than one race was high (over 18 percent) on the combined panels, and this substantially reduced reporting of Hispanic as a single category (from about 75 percent to about 57 percent). The May 1995 CPS Supplement found a comparable decline (about 20 percent) in reporting as Hispanic on the panels that included a combined race and Hispanic origin question.

However, on separate questions, responses include both race and Hispanic origin entries, and total more than 100 percent. Reporting in the Hispanic category alone or in one or more of the major race groups alone will necessarily be lower on a combined question where responses can total only 100 percent. The all-inclusive approach uses all information reported to classify responses as Hispanic or not as Hispanic and therefore provides data more comparable to that obtained from separate questions on race and Hispanic origin. There were no statistical differences between the all-inclusive approach for the combined panels with the appropriate panels containing separate questions. In the May 1995 CPS Supplement, the percentage of Hispanics increased with the use of responses to follow-up questions to the combined question, but never equaled the percentage reporting as Hispanic on the separate race and ethnicity questions.

The write-ins to the ancestry component of the combined question with the instruction to "mark one or more boxes" in the Asian and Pacific Islander targeted sample provided percentages of the detailed Asian and Pacific Islander groups comparable to those provided by the separate race question that lists these groups separately. However, it did not do so for the detailed Hispanic origin groups, in part because nonresponse to the ancestry component was relatively high (over 10 percent) among those who marked the Hispanic category in the Hispanic targeted sample. When the combined race and Hispanic origin question included a multiracial category, the write-ins to the ancestry question provided lower percentages of several detailed Asian and Pacific Islander groups, as well as of the detailed Hispanic origin groups, in their respective targeted samples than did the separate race and Hispanic origin questions.

A combined race and Hispanic origin question that allows multiple responses thus may be able to provide estimates of the total Hispanic origin population comparable to a separate Hispanic origin question if the responses are classified using an approach like the historical series tabulation, but probably not comparable information on the detailed Hispanic origin groups. A combined race and Hispanic origin question with a multiracial category seems less able to provide estimates of the total Hispanic origin population comparable to a separate Hispanic origin question, and also provides lower estimates of several specific Hispanic origin groups and of several specific Asian and Pacific Islander groups than the corresponding separate questions that list these groups.

NOTE:

Text tables for Chapter 1 are on pages 1-28 through 1-37.

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1The terms Hispanic origin and Hispanic are used interchangeably in this report.

2"Standards for the Classification of Federal Data on Race and Ethnicity," Federal Register, Vol. 60, No. 166 (60FR 44674-93), Office of Management and Budget, Monday, August 28, 1995, p. 44676.

3"A Test of Methods for Collecting Racial and Ethnic Information," USDL 95-428, U. S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, October 26, 1995. Clyde Tucker, Ruth McKay, Brian Kojetin, Roderick Harrison, Manuel de la Puente, Linda Stinson, and Ed Robison, "Testing Methods of Collecting Racial and Ethnic Information: Results of the Current Population Survey Supplement on Race and Ethnicity," Statistical Note Series, No. 40, U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, June 1996.

4Roderick Harrison, Manuel de la Puente, and Claudette Bennett, "Findings on Questions on Race and Hispanic Origin Tested in the 1996 National Content Survey," Population Division Working Paper Series, U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, December 1996. The NCS is known also as the U.S. Census 2000 Test.

5The RAETT is known also as the 1996 Census Survey.

6The term "White ethnic" includes persons whose ancestry was European (such as British, German, Italian, or Polish, but excluding Spanish), Canadian, or American.

7Claudette Bennett, Nampeo McKenney, and Roderick Harrison, "Racial Classification Issues Concerning Children in Mixed-Race Households," paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Population Association of America, San Francisco, CA, April 1995.

8Barry Edmonston and Charles Schultze (eds.), Modernizing the U.S. Census, National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC, 1995 p. 140.

9Roderick Harrison, Manuel de la Puente, and Claudette Bennett, "Findings on Questions on Race and Hispanic Origin Tested in the 1996 National Content Survey," Population Division Working Paper Series, U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, December 1996; Nancy E. Bates, Elizabeth A. Martin, Theresa J. DeMaio, and Manuel de la Puente, "Questionnaire Effects on Measurements of Race and Spanish Origin," Journal of Official Statistics, Vol. 11, pages 433-459, 1996.

10Jennifer Day, "Population Projections of the United States by Age, Sex, Race, and Hispanic Origin: 1995 to 2050," Current Population Reports, P25-1130, U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, Washington, DC, 1996, p. 13.

11The combined, two-part question discussed in this paragraph is often referred to, for simplicity, as a combined question in the remainder of this report when referring to the collection of data on race and Hispanic origin. When the collection of data on ancestry is the focus, it is referred to as a two-part question.

12Eleanor Gerber and Manuel de la Puente, "The Development and Cognitive Testing of Race and Ethnic Origin Questions for the Year 2000 Decennial Census," Paper presented at the Census Bureau's Annual Research Conference, Arlington, VA, March 1996.

13The instruction in Panel E (with a multiracial category) is to "mark one box," and the instruction in Panel F (without a multiracial category) is to "mark one or more boxes."Part A includes a write-in line for "enrolled or principal tribe" for the "Indian (Amer.) or Alaska Native" category. The eight panels (questionnaires) in the RAETT are described in Chapter 3.

14Census tracts are statistical subdivisions of counties and usually have populations between 2,500 and 8,000. The race or ethnicity of a household is classified as the race or ethnicity of the householder, which may not be the same as the race or ethnicity of other household members. See Chapter 3.

15In Panels E and F, Hispanic origin is treated as a race.

16The increases in the "Other Asian and Pacific Islander" category on both Panels C and H reflect an edit that assigned persons who marked two or more "Other Asian and Pacific Islander" categories (but no categories other than Asian and Pacific Islander) to "Other Asian and Pacific Islander." The same edit was applied to the multiple responses to the race question in Panels A and B, but it produced no significant increase in reporting as "Other Asian and Pacific Islander."

17Because these effects were not observed in Panel G, which also had a multiracial category, they should be interpreted with caution.

18Nancy E. Bates, Elizabeth A. Martin, Theresa J. DeMaio, and Manuel de la Puente, "Questionnaire Effects on Measurements of Race and Spanish Origin," Journal of Official Statistics, Vol. 11, pages 433-459, 1996.

19In the later report, we will examine the "ancestry or ethnic groups" reported in the write-ins to the combined question for ethnic groups.

20The distributions of detailed Asian and Pacific Islander groups in the Asian and Pacific Islander targeted sample on the combined panels (Table 1.8) were constructed by assigning any person who marked the Asian and Pacific Islander box (and only that box) and who wrote in one of the specific Asian or Pacific Islander groups listed on the separate race question to that specific group. Persons who wrote-in more than one Asian and Pacific Islander group were assigned to the "Other API" detailed category, which is consistent with how those who marked two or more Asian and Pacific Islander boxes (but no boxes for groups other than Asians and Pacific Islanders) were classified on the panels with the separate race question.

21A comparable procedure was used to obtain distributions of detailed Hispanic origin groups from the ancestry write-ins on Panels E and F: anyone who marked the Hispanic box (and only that box) and who wrote in one of the specific Hispanic origin groups listed on the separate Hispanic origin question was assigned to that specific group. Persons who wrote in more than one Hispanic group were assigned to the "Other Hispanic" category.

22Due to their designs and to nonresponse to the surveys, neither the NCS nor the CPS supplement samples were fully representative of the national population, and their distributions for race and Hispanic origin were not expected to match distributions from the 1990 census or from current surveys. For more detailed discussion of the NCS sample, see pages 7-13 of Roderick Harrison, Manuel de la Puente, and Claudette Bennett, "Findings on Questions on Race and Hispanic Origin Tested in the 1996 National Content Survey," Population Division Working paper Series, U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, December 1996.

For a more detailed discussion of the sample for the CPS Supplement, see Clyde Tucker, Ruth McKay, Brian Kojetin, Roderick Harrison, Manuel de la Puente, Linda Stinson, and Ed Robison, "Testing methods of Collecting Racial and Ethnic information: Results of the Current population Survey Supplement on Race and Ethnicity," Statistical Note Series, No. 40, U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics,June 1996.

23Nancy E. Bates, Elizabeth A. Martin, Theresa J. DeMaio, and Manuel de la Puente, "Questionnaire Effects on Measurements of Race and Spanish Origin," Journal of Official Statistics, Vol. 11, pages 433-459, 1996.

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