What The New Census Data Shows About Race Depends On How You Look At It

What The New Census Data Shows About Race Depends On How You Look At It

National Public Radio

Connie Hanzhang Jin

Ruth Talbot

Hansi Lo Wang, Correspondent, National Desk

Over the past decade, the United States continued to grow more racially and ethnically diverse, according to the results of last year’s national head count that the U.S. Census Bureau released this week.

There are many ways to slice the data and change how the demographic snapshot looks.

Since the 2000 count, participants have been able to check off more than one box when answering the race question on census forms. But breakdowns of the country’s racial and ethnic makeup often don’t reflect a multiracial population that has increased by 276% since the 2010 census. They focus instead on racial groups that are made up of people who marked only one box, with multiracial people sometimes lumped together in a catchall group.

Using the new 2020 census results, here’s what a breakdown with a catchall group for multiracial people looks like:

The 2020 U.S. Racial And Ethnic Makeup By Residents With One Race Reported

This breakdown puts residents who said they identified with two or more racial categories into an independent group. It also groups together people who identified as Hispanic or Latino, which federal standards do not consider a racial category. How that group should be represented is a subject of much debate.

One ▢ = 150,000 people

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