Ethnic Origin or Race

Ethnic origin refers to an individual’s self-identification of their origin or descent, “roots,” heritage, or place where the individual or his/her parents or ancestors were born. Respondents could report their ethnic group regardless of the number of generations removed from their place of origin. Responses to this question reflected the groups with which respondents identified and not necessarily the degree of attachment or association the individual had with the particular group(s).


The responses to this question were used not only to describe the ethnic origin of the respondent, but also their race. Racial classification used by the Census Bureau adheres to the October 30, 1997, Federal Register notice entitled, “Revisions to the Standards for the Classification of Federal Data on Race and Ethnicity” issued by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). These standards govern the categorization of race in census data products. The OMB identified five minimum race categories (White, Black or African American, American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, and Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander). (This item is only in the Pacific Islands)