The United States Census Bureau is seeking to redefine the way it classifies races in its surveys. After a 2010 survey found that many people filling out the census forms felt limited or offended by their options, the Bureau has decided to address concerns about the current method of counting demographics. Proposed changes include plans to end use of the term “Negro,” new ways to identify Middle Easterners, and options for Hispanics to identify as a distinct category regardless of race. But changes won’t come without controversy. Some groups worry that their race or ethnicity will get a lower count if more options are available, since census data is used to determine more than $400 billion in federal aid and is also used to draw political districts.
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