Race and Ethnicity Measurement and ReportingRace is defined as a human population considered distinct based on inherited physical characteristics. It is important to note, however, that race is predominantly a social construct, and that genetic science has determined that only 2 percent of our genes are ultimately responsible for the visible differences such as skin color.
Ethnicity is a term that refers to social groups with a shared history, sense of identity, geography and cultural roots which may occur despite racial differences. Ethnicity shapes a group's culture - food, language, music, and customs. We all have an ethnicity, but the term is often used only in reference to persons of Hispanic or Latino ethnicity versus those of non-Hispanic/Latino ethnicity.(1)
National Standards for Race Measurement
The U.S. Census Bureau collects race and Hispanic ethnicity as separate constructs. As a result, an individual has both a race and an Hispanic ethnicity designation (e.g., White Hispanic, White, non-Hispanic, Black Hispanic). This excerpt from the Federal Register (2) describes the OMB's intent.
Federal Register Notice October 30, 1997, OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET
To provide flexibility and ensure data quality, separate questions shall be used wherever feasible for reporting race and ethnicity. When race and ethnicity are collected separately, ethnicity shall be collected first. If race and ethnicity are collected separately, the minimum designations are:
1977 Federal Office of Management of Budget (OMB) Standard
Prior to 2000, the standard for collection of race data was to ask for the individual's primary race. This standard was released in 1977 in DIRECTIVE NO. 15, RACE AND ETHNIC STANDARDS FOR FEDERAL STATISTICS AND ADMINISTRATIVE REPORTING (3).
Race Categories in the 1977 OMB Standard
1997 OMB Standard
In 1997, the OMB released a new minimum standard (2) for maintaining, collecting, and presenting data on race and ethnicity for all Federal reporting purposes, effective October 30, 1997. The new standard, implemented in the 2000 decennial census, requires that individuals be asked to check all racial and ethnic categories that apply to them. In addition to multiple reporting, the "Asian or Pacific Islander" group was separated into two categories, "Asian" and "Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander." The "Black" category was renamed, "Black or African American" and the term "Hispanic" was to be changed to "Hispanic or Latino." The OMB defines the race and ethnicity categories as follows:
Race Category Definitions
Race data that have been collected using the 1997 standard may be reported in different ways.
◊ Reporting by "Race Alone"
For reporting by "Race Alone," respondents who checked only one race are reported in that race category and respondents who checked more than one race are reported in a category labeled, "Two or more races." The categories are mutually exclusive, and the resulting tabulations should sum to the total population count.
Reporting Categories for the 1997 OMB Standard, "Race Alone" Reporting Method
Table 1: 2008 U.S. Census Bureau New Mexico Population Estimates by "Race Alone"
Table 2: 2008 U.S. Census Bureau New Mexico Population Estimates by "Race Alone" and Hispanic Ethnicity
For reporting by "Race Alone or in Combination," respondents who checked only one race are reported in that race category and respondents who checked more than one race are reported in EACH of the race categories that were checked. Because a multi-racial individual is reported in more than one race category, the categories are not mutually exclusive, and the resulting tabulations will sum to a figure that is greater than the total population count.
Reporting categories for the "Race Alone or in Combination" reporting method
Table 3: 2008 U.S. Census Bureau New Mexico Population Estimates by "Race Alone or in Combination"
In addition, Census 2000 also reported 63 categories for race, including both single race categories (e.g., "White alone," "Asian alone"), and all possible combinations of the multirace categories (e.g., "American Indian and White," "Asian and White," "Black or African American and White," "American Indian or Alaska Native and Black or African American").
Bridged Race Estimates
Data collected using the 1997 standard are not directly comparable to those that were collected using the 1977 standard. To permit trend analysis, a methodology was developed to "bridge" population estimates that were collected using the 1997 standard back to the categories used in the 1977 standard. The bridging methodology (4) applies a statistical model to individuals' responses that were collected using the 1997 standaard and converts those responses to what they may have said had they been using the old single race categories from the 1977 standard. This presents yet another option for presentation of race data that were collected using the 1997 OMB standard, known as the "bridged race" method.
Table 4: 2010 New Mexico Population Estimates by Bridged Race and Hispanic Ethnicity
New Mexico Department of Health Race Reporting Guidelines
The New Mexico Department of Health has defined state standards for Reporting Race and Ethnicity. Data systems in New Mexico collect race and ethnicity data using the 1997 OMB standard, but for the purposes of presentation, race and ethnicity are presented together using the following five major categories/labels:
NMDOH Race and Ethnicity Reporting Standards
Table 5: 2011 GPS New Mexico Population Estimates by Race and Ethnicity
The New Mexico reporting standard uses the estimates by bridged race and Hispanic ethnicity. Presentation of race and ethnicity will be done together in the same table. Race/ethnicity will be viewed as a single social and cultural construct. Persons designated as Hispanic ethnicity, regardless of race, will be categorized as 'Hispanic.' Persons not designated as Hispanic will be categorized by their single race ('Black or African American,' 'American Indian or Alaska native,' 'Asian or Pacific Islander,' 'White,' or 'Other'). For more information, please see the NMDOH Race and Ethnicity Reporting Standards.
Deciding How to Report Race and Ethnicity
Flow Chart for Race and Ethnicity Reporting Decisions in New Mexico
1. Race Relations: Intercultural Skills-Building Resources and Tutorials. Downloaded from http://racerelations.about.com/od/skillsbuildingresources/Intercultural_SkillsBuilding_Resources_and_Tutorials.htm on June 26, 2009.
2. Federal Register Notice October 30, 1997, OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET. Revisions to the Standards for the Classification of Federal Data on Race and Ethnicity. Downloaded from http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/fedreg_1997standards/ on June 22, 2009.
3. Federal Register 7/9/97, Part II. Pages 36873-36946. OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET, Recommendations from the Interagency Committee for the Review of the Racial and Ethnic Standards to the Office of Management and Budget Concerning Changes to the Standards for the Classification of Federal Data on Race and Ethnicity. Downloaded from http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/fedreg/directive_15.html#chap3 on June 22, 2009.
4. The Bridge Report: Tabulation Options for Trend Analysis. Downloaded from http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/assets/information_and_regulatory_affairs/re_app-ctables.pdf on June 22, 2009.