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2020 Census

Race & Ethnicity

The U.S. Census Bureau considers race

and ethnicity to be two separate and distinct concepts.

What is race?

The Census Bureau defines race as "a person’s self-identification with one or more social groups."  Survey respondents may report multiple races. There is a portion of this question that allows you to specify ancestral origin. 

Examples: White, Black or African American, Asian, American Indian and Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, or another race.

What is ethnicity?

Ethnicity determines, for example, whether a person is of Hispanic/Latino origin or not. For this reason, the U.S. Census Bureau has decided to divide ethnicity into two categories, "Hispanic or Latino" and "Not Hispanic or Latino". Hispanics/Latinos may report as any race by which they identify with. 

The Two Questions Asked: 

“Are you of Hispanic, Latino or Spanish origin?”

“What is your race?”

Immigration Enforcement?

Can the information be used to enforce immigration laws?

NO! The Census Bureau must adhere to strict confidentiality laws that prohibit the sharing of respondent information. They do not share answers with immigration, law enforcement, tax agencies or any other organization.

It is against the law for your information

to be shared with law enforcement/ICE. 

Is there a Citizenship Question?

NO! You will not see any questions pertaining to citizenship.  

Fun Fact: It was the work of three federal judges that permanently blocked the federal government from adding any such question on the 2020 census.