New US race, ethnicity standards proposed; first since ’97

A Middle Eastern and North African category could be added to U.S. federal surveys and censuses, and changes could be made to how Hispanics are able to self-identify, under preliminary recommendations released Thursday by the Biden administration in what would be the first update to race and ethnicity standards in a quarter century.

The federal government’s standards haven’t been changed since 1997, two decades after they were created as part of an effort to collect consistent race and ethnicity data across federal agencies when handling censuses, federal surveys and application forms for government benefits.

Questions about race and Hispanic ethnicity are asked

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