New Census Measures of Race

Other External Scholars:
Joshua Goldstein, Princeton University
Project Date:
Jun 1998
Award Amount:
$17,572
Project Programs:
2000 Census

Under new federal regulations, Census 2000 was the first to allow respondents to identify themselves as belonging to more than one race. If many people take advantage of this option, it could significantly alter our picture of the racial and ethnic makeup of the United States. Joshua Goldstein of Princeton University received a grant to analyze the Census Bureau's preliminary tests of this new multiple race option. In addition to telling us how frequently the option may be used, Goldstein will investigate the socio-economic and demographic profile of America's mixed race population. The new census question raises sensitive issues for social scientists and policy makers alike. Social researchers will have to address the fact that census 2000 racial statistics will not be directly comparable to data from previous censuses, and policymakers must decide how to treat the multiracial population when implementing a host of laws that hinge upon census figures, such as electoral redistricting, affirmative action, and anti-discrimination laws. Goldstein's study will be one of the few systematic analyses of the new race question prior to Census day, and his work should make a valuable contribution to these deliberations.

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