Census Will Forgo ‘Majority-Minority’ Approach in 2020 Analysis
(Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Census Bureau is moving away from using “majority” and “minority” for measuring racial and ethnic diversity, and will opt for a new set of metrics in its analysis of the 2020 population survey.
The bureau said the inclusion of certain groups as part of the “majority” or “minority” has become more complex because many people may not identify with certain population groups, even if that is how they are classified according to federal guidelines. The racial and ethnic categories measured by the bureau are based on standards set by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget in 1997.
The bureau chose the new set of diversity measures because they have clear definitions and interpretations, and “overcome some of the limitations of the diversity measures” previously used, the bureau said in a Wednesday release.
“In the past, the Census Bureau had sometimes used the concept of ‘majority’ and ‘minority’ for measuring diversity, but this approach has several conceptual and practical challenges that limit its ability to illustrate the complex racial and ethnic diversity of the U.S. population.”
The U.S. population is becoming increasingly diverse and non-white, as racial and ethnic minorities accounted for all of the nation’s population growth during the last decade.
Among the new metrics, one will analyze the probability two people chosen at random will be from different race and ethnic groups, while another shows the most common group in a given area.
The preliminary results on the country's racial and ethnic diversity are scheduled for release later this month.
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