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US census to include Middle Eastern/North African category

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The upcoming US census and federal government forms are poised to introduce novel options for race and ethnicity, notably encompassing a category tailored for individuals of Middle Eastern or North African descent, as relayed by officials.

Outlined as the first substantive alterations in nearly thirty years, these modifications were disclosed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and subsequently detailed in the Federal Register, marking a pivotal development in demographic data collection.

US Chief Statistician, Karin Orvis, underscored the significance of these revisions, asserting, “These updated standards will help create more useful, accurate and up-to-date federal data on race and ethnicity,” elucidating their role in fostering a comprehensive understanding of America’s diverse demographic landscape and refining the efficacy of federal programs.

The revamped questionnaire will proffer a multitude of categories under the query “What is your race and/or ethnicity?” encompassing American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, Middle Eastern or North African, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, and White.

Previously, individuals of Middle Eastern or North African heritage were subsumed under the “White” classification, lacking a discrete category. Similarly, Hispanics and Latinos were formerly required to identify both their ethnicity and race, whereas they will now be consolidated under a unified category.

The decennial census, a cornerstone of US governance conducted every ten years, serves multifaceted purposes ranging from demographic analysis to the delineation of electoral districts. The forthcoming census is slated for 2030, promising a more inclusive and nuanced depiction of America’s populace.

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