U.S. Department of Commerce
Economic & Statistics Administration
Press Release – 15 May 1997
EMBARGOED UNTIL: 10 A.M. EDT, MAY 15, 1997 (THURSDAY)
Public Information Office
Racial Statistics Branch 301-457-2402
Census Bureau To Release Results Of Research On Questions On Race And Hispanic Origin
The Commerce Department’s Census Bureau will release results of testing alternative questions on race and ethnicity from the 1996 Race and Ethnic Targeted Test (RAETT) at 10 a.m., Thursday, May 15. This study, together with other research from the Census Bureau and other federal agencies, will be used by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in its review of Statistical Policy Directive No. 15, “Race and Ethnic Standards for Federal Statistics and Administrative Reporting.” The standard, which was issued in 1977, governs the categories used to collect and publish federal data on race and ethnicity. The Census Bureau report, “Results of the 1996 Race and Ethnic Targeted Test,” summarizes the results of testing several alternative questionnaire forms. The alternatives included questionnaires that: – added a multiracial category to the race question; – tested “check all that apply” options for reporting more than one race; – placed the Hispanic-origin question immediately before the race question; – combined the race and Hispanic-origin questions in the first part of a two-part question that included ancestry in the second part; and – used alternative racial and ethnic terms for American Indians, Eskimos, and Aleuts; and for Asian and Pacific Islander groups. Members of the media who would like a copy of the 200-page report, “Results of the 1996 Race and Ethnic Targeted Test,” should contact the Public Information Office on 301-457-3030. A summary of findings from this advance report will be available on the Internet at
Another report with more detailed findings from the RAETT is planned for publication later in 1997.
The Census Bureau–pre-eminent collector and provider of timely, relevant, and quality data about the people and economy of the United States. In over 100 surveys annually and 20 censuses a decade, evolving from the first census in 1790, the Census Bureau provides official information about America’s people, businesses, industries and institutions.