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Curran Quoted in Seattle Times on Proposed Race and Ethnicity Categories Under Consideration by Federal Government

Posted: 3/26/2023 (CSDE in the News and CSDE Research)

CSDE Director Sara Curran was recently quoted in a Seattle Times article concerning the proposed minimum race and ethnic categories being considered for adoption by the US federal government.  Curran notes how the gathering of race and ethnic data about the US population has been a feature of the US Census and other federal data collection efforts since the founding of the country.  Furthermore, those minimum set of categories have also evolved over the decades, as the composition of the US population shifts and meaningfully new and different identities emerge among US residents.  Notably, in recent decades the category of Some Other Race (SOR) has been selected by a growing proportion of US residents.  Recent research indicates that the SOR identity selection comprises an extremely heterogenous population and its growth is a reflection of how the current minimum set of categories does not fully capture the meaningfully diverse identities of the US population.

There is a month left in providing public comments on these proposed changes.  The initial proposals can be found on the January 27 Federal Register Notice, Initial Proposals For Updating OMB’s Race and Ethnicity Statistical Standards, which closes on April 12, 2023.  These are important opportunities for all of us to bring our best social science insights to the OMB’s deliberation!