Race & Civil Rights
Race(ism) Matters: Every Census since 1790 has included a question about race. The racial categories changed over time, reflecting the anxieties and politics of the day. Categories were assigned by census takers until 1950 and race was self-determined from 1960 on. Partly in response to advocacy from parents of multi-racial children, starting with Census 2000, each person could choose more than one race.
Current federal categories required for reporting include five races (American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian, Black, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, White) and one ethnicity: Hispanic/Latino or not.
Race and Latinx origin data can be used to identify patterns of discrimination and civil rights violations in many areas including employment, education, housing, voting, health care and criminal justice.