Monday, January 11, 2010

Census Bureau Statement on 2010 Census Race Question

Many of you have asked for information on the race question. Here is the official response from the Census Department. We are monitoring the situation and will update you soon. Please call me if you have any questions.
Census Bureau Statement on 2010 Census Race Question
A test embedded in the 2010 Census will measure the effect of removing the term "Negro" on reports about a person’s racial identity. The results will be used to inform design changes for future surveys and the 2020 Census. In the 2000 Census, more than 50,000 persons chose to write down explicitly that they identified themselves as “Negro.”
The Census Bureau included the term “Negro” because testing prior to Census 2000 indicated that numbers of respondents self-identified with this term. Census 2000 data showed that 56,175 respondents wrote in the term "Negro" in response to the question on race, even though the term was included in the category label for a checkbox. This does not include the unknown numbers of respondents who may have checked the box “Black, African Am., or Negro” because of the presence of the “Negro” identifier.
Research in the 2000s did not include studies of the effect of dropping “Negro” from the list “Black, African Am., or Negro” on responses. Such research is important to avoid unanticipated consequences of changing question wording on the outcome of a census. As stated above, this research will be conducted as part of the 2010 decennial census.

Kirk Clay
Director, Civic Engagement
NAACP, National Office
410-580-5761 Direct
202-438-5541 Cell
4805 Mt. Hope Dr.
Baltimore, MD 21215