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Race/Ethnicity as Reported by the Census

The Census collects and reports data on race (Asian/Pacific Islander, Black, White, and Native American) separately from data on Hispanic status. One may report as being of more than one race. A person of any race can report as being Hispanic or not. The following table compares the standard CWS/CMS (Primary Ethnicity) method of reporting race and ethnicity with the Census method of reporting race and ethnicity. For our purposes, the important differences between these two methods are:

Primary Ethnicity Method Census Method
Data Source Race/Ethnicity is based on the CWS/CMS primary race/ethnicity variable and the CWS/CMS Hispanic status variable. CWS/CMS Secondary Ethnicity data is not utilized. In addition to the data used in the Primary Ethnicity Method, the Census Method uses CWS/CMS Secondary Race/Ethnicity variable.
Hispanic status Hispanic is treated as a race – One can be Asian/Pacific Islander, Black, White, Hispanic, Native American. If a person’s Hispanic status variable is yes, that person is reported as Hispanic irrespective of the race/ethnicity reported in the primary race/ethnicity variable. Hispanic status is reported separately from race. A Hispanic, or non-Hispanic person, is asked to report their race, i.e., Asian, Black, White, etc. Because most Hispanics do not report another race on CWS/CMS, the race of most Hispanics is missing.
Multiple Races Only the primary race/ethnicity (adjusted for Hispanic status) is reported, so nobody is reported as being of mixed race. Both primary and secondary races are considered. Persons reporting two or more races (e.g., Black primary race/ethnicity and White secondary race/ethnicity) are reported as being of mixed race.
Native Americans Only people who report a primary race/ethnicity of Native American and who do not identify as Hispanic are reported as Native Americans. A person is reported as Native American irrespective of Hispanic status. Native Americans of mixed race (e.g., White and Native American) are reported as being of mixed race.

In the Census format, race is missing for most Hispanic children because their only primary or secondary race/ethnicity reported on CWS/CMS is one in the Hispanic group (i.e., Hispanic, Mexican, Central American, etc.). Because secondary race/ethnicity is considered, the count of Hispanic children is somewhat greater in the Census Method than in the Primary Ethnicity Method.

The consideration of reported secondary race/ethnicities in the Census method results in some children being reported as being of mixed race. As a result the count of non-Hispanic Black, White and Asian/Pacific Islander children is lower in the Census Method than in the Primary Ethnicity Method.

Because many people who identify as Native Americans also identify as Hispanic, the Census method reports more Native Americans than the Primary Ethnicity method does. However, this increase is dampened because secondary race/ethnicity is considered and children with a Primary Race of Native American often report other secondary races, e.g., White.

The Census Method first creates two ethnic groups – Hispanic and non-Hispanic. A child is identified as Hispanic if the hisp_cd on the Client table is Yes or the p_ethnctyc on the Client table or the ethnctyc on the Client_SCP_Ethnicity table is one of the following:
  • Hispanic (830)
  • Mexican (3164)
  • South American (3165)
  • Caribbean (3162)
  • Central American (3163)

After Hispanic status has been determined, race is determined by collapsing the non-Hispanic race codes from the CWS/CMS variables p_ethnctyc on the Client table and ethnctyc on the Client_SCP_Ethnicity table into five race groups. Reporting of mixed race is determined as described above. Race/ethnic groups and codes are listed below:

  1. Black
    • Black (823)
    • Ethiopian (826)
  2. White
    • White (839)
    • White-Armenian (840)
    • White-Central American (841)
    • White-European (842)
    • White-Middle Eastern (843)
    • White-Romanian (844)
  3. Asian/PI
    • Asian Indian (822)
    • Cambodian (824)
    • Chinese (825)
    • Filipino (827)
    • Guamanian (828)
    • Hawaiian (829)
    • Japanese (831)
    • Korean (832)
    • Laotian (833)
    • Other Asian (5922)
    • Other Pacific Islander (5923)
    • Hmong (835)
    • Polynesian (836)
    • Samoan (837)
    • Vietnamese (838)
  4. Native American
    • Alaskan Native (820)
    • American Indian (821)
  5. Missing