View Full Version : middle easterners and census categories

04-18-2003, 01:55 PM
For people whose heritage is in the Middle East, what categories do they relate to in terms of US census data? European or Asian or African? For instance, what about Egyptians? Iraqis? Libyans? Syrians? For funding and other purposes, we are asked to place people into those categories. What do we do if we can't ask the individuals?

04-18-2003, 02:42 PM
One of my sister's friends is from Iran. He was thinking about applying to UCLA and had to fill out applications and all that stuff. He probably won't go (don't know if he actually got in) because he didn't qualify as a minority because he is "Persian."

Not sure if that helps or not. His parents are both immigrants, though he was born in the States.

Why can't you ask the individuals? Why not just ask them what they consider themselves? If they say "Egyptian" and that doesn't fit, then say, "The U.S. Census categories are . . ." and let them pick one.

ooga booga
04-18-2003, 04:28 PM
I was a census worker back in 2000. It was a bit of an onerous task in a way, because there were no less than fifteen separate racial categories, and people were free to choose as many of them as they fit.

With all that, however, people of Middle Eastern origin were officially counted as White in the eyes of the census.

04-20-2003, 12:18 PM
On today's governmentally sponsored forms, are there no better or more accurate ways to identify, or classify people from, say, Syria? How are we to report this information fairly?

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