To fight discrimination, the U.S. census needs a different race question

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2020-03-10 14:48Z by Steven

To fight discrimination, the U.S. census needs a different race question

Science News: Independent Journalism Since 1921
2020-03-08

Sujata Gupta, Social Sciences Writer


An accurate sense of racial diversity is hard to achieve with current U.S. census questions.
Delphine Lee

The government has asked people their race since 1790

Wendy Roth has been arguing for years that the U.S. Census Bureau should ask about race in a different way. The race box that people check for themselves on the census doesn’t always match the box someone else might have checked for them. And that, Roth says, is a problem.

Roth, a sociologist at the University of Pennsylvania, began researching that mismatch in racial identification in the early 2000s. She recruited 60 New Yorkers who had been born in Puerto Rico or the Dominican Republic, showed them the census race question and asked them how they would answer. The responses surprised her.

Consider the case of Salvador, a kitchen worker in the Bronx. “Many Americans observing him would consider him to be black,” Roth wrote in December 2010 in Social Science Quarterly. But Salvador told Roth that he checks “white.”

While attitudes in the mainland United States have been shaped by the long legacy of the “one-drop rule,” in which a single drop of “black blood” conferred “blackness,” Puerto Ricans believe the opposite — that even dark-skinned people can’t be black if they have “white blood.” Puerto Ricans use terms like mulatto or trigueño to describe those falling somewhere between white and black. But when presented with race checkboxes that offer no intermediate options, Salvador simply goes by what he knows…

A slippery sense of self

As minority groups fight for greater visibility, and the race question gets wound up in ideas about self-affirmation and group empowerment, the census data have been getting more difficult to decipher since the 1960 shift to self-identification.

With the power to check their own race box, many people previously identified as white have embraced a nonwhite or mixed-race identity. That’s evident in the American Indian numbers. From 1890 to 1960, the American Indian population grew from 248,000 to 524,000, with an average annual growth rate of just 1.1 percent. But over the next several decades, and coinciding with the shift to self-identification, that population grew to almost 2 million by 1990 — with an average annual growth rate of 4.3 percent. That meteoric growth extends well beyond what is possible through births alone, [Carolyn] Liebler says…

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The changing categories the U.S. census has used to measure race

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, History, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2020-02-27 02:48Z by Steven

The changing categories the U.S. census has used to measure race

Fact Tank: News in the Number
Pew Research Center
2020-02-25

Anna Brown, Research Associate

The varying ways in which the U.S. government has counted Americans over time offer a glimpse into the country’s past, from the days of slavery to recent waves of immigration. Racial categories, which have been included on every U.S. census since the first one in 1790, have changed from decade to decade, reflecting the politics and science of the times.

It was not until 1960 that people could select their own race. Prior to that, an individual’s race was determined by census takers, known as enumerators. And it was not until 2000 that Americans could choose more than one race to describe themselves, allowing for an estimate of the nation’s multiracial population. In 2020, for the first time, the form asks respondents who choose white or black for their race to give more information about their origins – for example, German, Lebanese, African American or Somali…

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Inside the US Government Agency where Identity Politics Was Born

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2019-02-07 02:06Z by Steven

Inside the US Government Agency where Identity Politics Was Born

Quillette
2018-10-23

Michael Gonzalez, Senior Fellow
The Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy
The Heritage Foundation, Washington, D.C.

The phrase “grievance studies” recently has entered public discourse thanks to a scandal by three liberal academics who set out to expose the vacuous nature of critical theory, post-colonial studies, queer theory and other sub-disciplines within the social sciences. Mathematician James Lindsay, writer Helen Pluckrose, and Portland State philosophy professor Peter Boghossian spent a year writing fake papers, which they then pitched to journals specializing in these fields. Seven passed peer review and were accepted for publication. As various commentators (including several here at Quillette) have noted, the hoax has shown what many have long suspected—that ivory-tower academics who study in fashionable fields inhabit ideological domains far removed from those of ordinary people.

But while observers have correctly focused on the lessons that may be inferred about high academic culture in the United States, it should be noted that the drifts of the liberal arts into postmodern gibberish has not been an isolated phenomenon. The trend also has its cheerleaders in government, even in Donald Trump’s very own Washington D.C. backyard.

Few Americans have heard of the Census Bureau’s National Advisory Committee on Racial, Ethnic and Other Populations (NAC). But when it comes to policymaking, the NAC effectively acts as a support network for grievance studies. Along with bureaucrats in other agencies, and various non-governmental “stakeholder” groups on the left, the NAC has for decades controlled the policy by which demographic data—the seedbed of identity politics—is collected and interpreted.

One ongoing dispute helps explain what the NAC does and why that work is important. In Jan., the Census Bureau (whose director is a presidential appointee) rejected two important changes to the 2020 census that had been proposed by the NAC. The first would have created yet another identity group, this one for Americans whose ancestors originate in the land between Morocco and the Iran-Afghan border, which were to be designated as MENA (for Middle East, North Africa). The second would have elevated another pan-ethnic group, Hispanics, to the status of a category on par with biological races. The NAC has bitterly opposed the Trump Administration’s decision not to go along with these initiatives, but that dispute was largely ignored by the media in the shadow of the much more high-profile issue of whether the census should ask residents whether they are U.S. citizens…

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Midwest Home to Most of the Counties With Decreases in Median Age

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, United States on 2018-06-21 15:42Z by Steven

Midwest Home to Most of the Counties With Decreases in Median Age

United States Census Bureau
2018-06-21
Release Number: CB18-78

A More Diverse Nation

JUNE 21, 2018 — Approximately half (51.4 percent) of the nation’s 531 counties that were getting younger between April 2010 and July 2017 were in the Midwest, according to newly released 2017 population estimates. Out of the counties that were getting younger, the South also had a high proportion (32.4 percent) of the counties that experienced a decrease in median age — the age where half of the population is younger and the other half is older— followed by the West (14.1 percent), and the Northeast (2.1 percent).

“Nationally, almost 17 percent of counties saw a decrease in median age from April 2010 to July 2017. The majority of the counties getting younger were in the Midwest, and of these counties with 10,000 people or more in July 2017, some of the largest decreases were in North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska,” said Molly Cromwell, a demographer at the U.S. Census Bureau. “Williams County, N.D., had the largest decrease in median age, declining by 7.1 years.”

Despite the decrease in median age in many of the Midwest’s counties, a majority of counties in the country continued to grow older. The nation as a whole experienced a median age increase from 37.2 years to 38.0 years during the period 2010 to 2017. This continued aging of the country is consistent with the projected changes to the nation’s population through 2060.

“Baby boomers, and millennials alike, are responsible for this trend in increased aging,” Cromwell said. “Boomers continue to age and are slowly outnumbering children as the birth rate has declined steadily over the last decade.”

Last year, Florida had the largest percentage of seniors (age 65 and older) with 20.1 percent, followed by Maine (19.9 percent) and West Virginia (19.4 percent). Maine also saw its median age increase to 44.7 from 42.7 years old in 2010, making it the state with the highest median age.

On the other hand, Utah had the smallest percentage of its population age 65 and older (10.8 percent), followed by Alaska (11.2 percent) and the District of Columbia (12.1 percent). Utah is also the state with the lowest median age (30.9 years).

View our graphics on change in median age from 2010 to 2017 at the county level and the median age in 2017 to see how the nation has changed…

The Two or More Races Population

  • Those who identify as two or more races made up the second-fastest growing race group (2.9 percent) in the nation. Their growth is due primarily to natural increase.
  • The two or more races group had the youngest median age of any other race group at 20.4 years.
  • California had the largest two or more races population (1.5 million) and Hawaii had the highest proportion (23.8 percent)…

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The Trump administration’s plan to make people disappear

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2018-03-31 02:06Z by Steven

The Trump administration’s plan to make people disappear

The Washington Post
2018-03-30

Karen Tumulty, Columnist


2010 Census forms. (Ross D. Franklin/AP)

As long as there has been a census, there have been complaints about how it was conducted.

Ours is believed to have been the first country to have required that its entire population be counted on a regular basis. The Constitution stipulated that there be an “actual enumeration” of all U.S. residents within three years of Congress’s first meeting and every 10 years thereafter.

But when the 1790 population tally came in at a disappointingly low 3.9 million residents, skeptics — including President George Washington and Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson — insisted that the initial effort surely must have missed 1 million or more people. The new nation’s wounded pride notwithstanding, later surveys suggested that the first count was pretty much on the mark.

Nor has the seemingly objective exercise of counting people ever been immune to politics. The census helps determine how more than $675 billion in federal funds will be allocated annually and how congressional district lines will be redrawn to ensure that voters are equally represented. After the 1920 Census showed a massive movement from farms to cities, the rural lawmakers who dominated things at the time decided to ignore it entirely and skipped reapportionment that decade.

The Trump administration now proposes to corrupt the process in a different way: by requiring every household to report the citizenship status of its members…

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Census Bureau’s Own Expert Panel Rebukes Decision to Add Citizenship Question

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2018-03-31 01:51Z by Steven

Census Bureau’s Own Expert Panel Rebukes Decision to Add Citizenship Question

The New York Times
2018-03-30

Michael Wines, National Correspondent


A Census Bureau panel denounced the decision this week to add a question about citizenship to the 2020 census, saying it would depress the response.
Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

The Trump administration’s decision to add a question on citizenship to the 2020 census, already the target of lawsuits and broad criticism by statistics authorities, drew a new opponent on Friday: the experts who advise the Census Bureau itself.

Those experts — prominent demographers, economists, engineers and others who make up the Census Scientific Advisory Committee — said in a statement that the decision was based on “flawed logic,” could threaten the accuracy and confidentiality of the head count and likely would make it more expensive to conduct.

In the statement, addressed to the acting Census Bureau director, Ron Jarmin, the committee also said it worried about the “implications for attitudes about the Census Bureau,” an allusion to fears that the latest move jeopardized the bureau’s nonpartisan reputation…

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There’s a big problem with how the census measures race

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Latino Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2018-02-14 23:06Z by Steven

There’s a big problem with how the census measures race

The Washington Post
2018-02-06

Richard Alba, Distinguished Professor of Sociology
Graduate Center, City University of New York


Activists hold signs during a news conference in front of the Supreme Court in 2015. (Getty Images)

Will the 2020 Census be accurate? A number of observers have been worrying about that question for several reasons. For instance, the Justice Department has been trying to insert a citizenship question on the census form; such a question could discourage many immigrants from completing the form. As a result, cities and regions with large numbers of immigrants could see their populations seriously undercounted, with troubling results for political representation, services and funding.

But there’s another reason to be worried, one that hasn’t gotten much attention. The Census Bureau just announced that its 2020 form will not fundamentally change the questions it uses to ask about ethnic and racial origins. This may seem like a minor technical issue — but it will have major real-world implications. If it does not incorporate already-tested improvements into these questions, the census will deliver a less accurate picture of the United States.

And as a result, census statistics will continue to roil the public discussion of diversity, by exaggerating white decline and the imminence of a majority-minority United States. Political figures and pundits who oppose immigration and diversity could exploit that, peddling an alarmist narrative that doesn’t fit with the long-standing reality of mixing between immigrant and established Americans….

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2020 Census To Keep Racial, Ethnic Categories Used In 2010

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2018-01-26 21:16Z by Steven

2020 Census To Keep Racial, Ethnic Categories Used In 2010

National Public Radio
2018-01-26

Hansi Lo Wang, National Correspondent


A map shows the locations of the U.S. Census Bureau’s regional offices for the 2020 census.
Hansi Lo Wang/NPR

A Census Bureau announcement about the race and ethnicity questions for the 2020 census suggests the Trump administration will not support Obama-era proposals to change how the U.S. government collects information about race and ethnicity, census experts say.

If approved, the proposals would change how the Latino population is counted and create a new checkbox on federal surveys for people with roots in the Middle East or North Africa. Research by the Census Bureau shows these revisions could improve the accuracy of the upcoming national headcount in 2020. Any changes would carry wide implications for legislative redistricting, civil rights laws and health statistics.

So far, though, the White House’s Office of Management and Budget, which sets the standards for race and ethnicity data for federal agencies, has not released any decisions. OMB has also not responded to NPR’s request for comment…

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Census Bureau Statement on 2020 Census Race and Ethnicity Questions

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2018-01-26 20:40Z by Steven

Census Bureau Statement on 2020 Census Race and Ethnicity Questions

United States Census Bureau
2018-01-26
Release Number: CB18-RTQ.02

Public Information Office
Telephone: 301-763-3030
E-Mail: pio@census.gov

REPSONSE TO QUERY

Jan. 26, 2018 – The 2020 Census race and ethnicity questions will follow a two-question format for capturing race and ethnicity for both the 2018 Census Test and the 2020 Census, which adheres to the 1997 Standards for the Classification of Federal Data on Race and Ethnicity (Statistical Policy Directive No. 15) set by the Office of Management and Budget. The Census Bureau will not include a combined question format for collecting Hispanic origin and race, or a separate Middle Eastern or North African category on the census form. The upcoming 2018 Census Test in Providence County, R.I., which begins on March 16, will reflect the proposed 2020 Census race and ethnicity questions.

The Census Bureau remains on schedule as it implements the operational plan and will provide the planned 2020 Census questionnaire wording to Congress by March 31, 2018, as directed by law. The Census Bureau will continue to further its extensive research on how to collect accurate race and ethnicity data across its surveys.

For more information, click here.

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Think race and ethnicity are permanent? Think again

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Census/Demographics, Latino Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2017-07-14 17:26Z by Steven

Think race and ethnicity are permanent? Think again

N-IUSSP: IUSSP’s online news magazine
International Union for the Scientific Study of Population
2017-06-26

Editorial Committee

Add something else to the list of things that seem simple but are actually complicated – the way someone reports their race or ethnicity. In a recently-published research article (Liebler et al. 2017), we used a large, unique linked dataset from two U.S. Censuses (2000 and 2010) to study who had the same race/ethnicity response in both years and whose response changed from one year to the next. With over 160 million cases covering all U.S. race and ethnicity groups we found that 6.1% of people in the (not-nationally-representative) data had a different race or ethnic response in 2010 than they did in 2000.

These response changes represent changes between the federally-defined major race groups (multiple responses allowed in both years): white, black or African American (“black” here), American Indian or Alaska Native (“American Indian”), Asian, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander (“Pacific Islander”), or the residual category of Some Other Race. Or they were changes between the two defined ethnicity groups: Hispanic/Latino and non-Hispanic/Latino (“Hispanic” and “non-Hispanic”).We used strict case selection to assure that responses were given by the person or a household member (not allocated, imputed, gathered from a potentially unreliable source, or signaling an incorrect match)…

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