Does your race have to match your ethnicity on the US Census?

Apparently my Census response form got lost in the mail and a worker with a tablet showed up at my door.  My family is pretty mixed but this is the way we answered the Census worker....

Question: Are you Hispanic/Latino - YES

We chose "Another Hispanic, Latino or Spanish Origin"

Question: Print origin for example Argentinian, Colombian, Dominican Republic, etc..

We answered: American

Race - White

Ancestry/Ethnicity - American

I know over 25 million Americans claim "American" as their ethnicity on the Census but I always thought you had to be a white non-Hispanic American to say that you were ethnically "American".  But the census worker said that the majority of white people in Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia and Missouri declare their ancestry as "American".

He also said that a lot of non whites, especially those who are very mixed or don't feel any connection to any other ethnic group, also declare their ancestry as "American".  He said that your ancestry is what you identify with.  

He gave me the example of the community of Polish Haitians living in Haiti, they are black but mixed with long ago Polish military personnel.  So he said he had a Haitian family list their race as "Black" but their ethnicity as "Polish".

So I looked it up and Polish Haitians do exist.  But what if you put a race and ethnicity combination that might not exist.  Let's say you put your race as "Asian" but your ethnicity as "Italian".  Will the census bureau accept that?

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4 Answers

  • Zirp
    Lv 7
    4 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    That would be impossible.

    Ethnicity is non-genetic. It's the language and culture you were raised in.

    Race is purely genetic, but shortly after WW2 our genetics showed that all humans alive are one and the same race.... so the question is bullcrap

  • Anonymous
    4 months ago

    Tentofield is a troll. Nobody is saying Japanese or Koreans are white people because they have white skin. Race is a lot more than just skin color. It is the result of evolution in different parts of the world for thousands of years in different environments.

    Humans share 50 percent DNA with a banana, 99 percent DNA with a chimp. So what?

    An anthropologist can determine race from bones alone. Geneticists can determine race from DNA alone. The statement that there is more diversity within a race than between is patently misleading. If you look at a person's alleles, it is easy to determine race, ethnic group, or geographic origin with accuracy.

    It is no more difficult or controversial than determining a Great Dane from a chihuahua. Nor is the fact that there isn't a sharp dividing line an issue. It's called a Cline. A perfect example is the visible spectrum of light. There's no sharp division between the colors as we name them but red is clearly distinguishable as different than green.

    There are race-specific illnesses and disorders that affect only a particular racial group of people. Are you saying the only difference between Japanese and Pygmy is just the color of skin and nothing else? 

    Even out of Africa theory is being disputed these days and the multi-regional hypothesis is gaining strength. Race realism is suppressed because of Marxist ideology. 

  • 4 months ago

    "Asian" is not a race. "Asian" means someone from Asia. This is the largest continent with forty eight countries stretching from Turkey to Timor Leste. It has thousands of languages and cultures and people of every size and shape and of every possible skin colour from palest to darkest. Five countries, Turkey, Russia, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, sit astride the border between Europe and Asia (which is human artefact anyway). If people on the  European side of the border are "white" then so are their relatives across the street in Asia, people do not change colour or race at borders. This means that Russians and Kazakhstanis are "white". If they are "white" and people do not change colour at borders, they both share borders with China so Chinese people are "white" too. 

    By this method you can prove that the entire human population is "white". If you were to start in Rwanda, you could prove the entire human population was "black". As you cannot define "white" or "black" and DNA shows how closely we are all related, there are no biological races in humans. If anyone asks my "race" I always put 100m freestyle although I am a bit old for racing these days.

  • Anonymous
    4 months ago


    My mother was Born in Latina. It's still located in Europe, It's not part of hispania and they don't even speak Spanish there. The US national motto is even written in Lingua Latina!

    I'm not sure how it ever got confused with mixed Spanish speaking Mesoamerican.

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