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Mod 6 Discussion: Fix the Census

Question Description

First read this

The Census has asked about race since 1790–and it has been a different question each time as you saw on According to the Census Bureau, "information on race is required for many Federal programs and is critical in making policy decisions, particularly for civil rights. States use these data to meet legislative redistricting principles. Race data also are used to promote equal employment opportunities and to assess racial disparities in health and environmental risks."

Now, imagine you are working for the Census and are asked to consult on the 2020 race/ethnicity question. How would you word and format it? Make sure to take into account the various ways we have discussed these questions in class, the motivations some people have when filling out the Census, the purpose of the Census, social and federal race categories, etc. You will also need to address Hispanic/Latino in some form (whether it's a race or ethnicity, a separate question, etc. is up to you) in your Census question. After you finish drafting your Census question, practice it and see if it would work well for all kinds of people–amend as necessary.

In your analysis paragraph, discuss what you considered when formatting and wording your Census question. Was this easy or difficult? Why? Try to draw on conversations we have had in class, particularly this week, in your response.

In your responses to your classmates, evaluate their Census question. What are the strengths? Weaknesses? What are some other things to consider or things it made you reconsider about yours?

Example Census question:

1. Question wording blah blah blah (any specification)

O Race 1

O Race 2




2. Question wording blah blah blah (any specification)

O Ethnicity

O Ethnicity

Than comment to my class mates 100 words

  1. Which of the following groups do you consider yourself to be a member?
  • Black, African American
  • Asian
  • White
  • Native Hawaiian or other pacific islander
  • American indian


  1. Do you consider yourself to be of Hispanic/Latino Origin?
  • Yes
  • No

Other or Neither :

When formatting my census questions I wanted to keep the questions bland and open for all people to answer. Not being to vague but also not being too specific to where people feel uncomfortable about their race and or ethnicity. I feel as this essy due to the fact that i’ve seen similar questions like this all my life in school, whether that is on surveys and or applications. When making my census questions I had to keep rewriting my questions because I wanted people to feel equal. This relates to some of the videos/slides (specifically equity vs.equality graphics) from class relating to equality. Why do you think it is important for census questions to show equality regarding race or ethnicity?

Than answer the first question you read like my classmate.

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