What Are You? Measuring The Size, Characteristics And Attitudes Of The Multiracial Population In America #AAPOR


Live note taking at #AAPOR in Austin Texas. Any errors or bad jokes are my own.

Moderator: Richard Morin, Pew Research Center 

Exploring New Ways to Measure Race/Ethnicity for the 2020 Census; Nicholas Jones, U.S. Census Bureau

  • Focus is multiethnic Americans 
  • Increasing numbers of people don’t identify with the current categories, lobbying government to change the categories
  • Can people find themselves more accurately and easily in the form
  • [My thought – do we need a probability sample to learn about the best way to write an ethnicity question? I suggest no.]
  • Want to explore separate questions and combined questions
  • Middle Eastern or North African MENA category being considered
  • [Why does the census ask about Race when it really is a question of Breed or Historical Origin? There is only one race – human]
  • Test option to let people write in more specific details
  • Also testing detailed checkbox question
  • List the options in order of frequency of occurrence 
  • Testing instruction – Note, you may report more than one group. People were misreading “Mark X” as mark a single X even though it said “Mark X in one or more boxes
  • Testing race, original, ethnicity. Also tested tested no terms at all “which category” [Which category is my favorite. I’ve moved pretty everything over to that style. It’s a huge help for the gender/sex/identity question.]
  • Want to understand how multiracial groups respond, particularly since these groups are growing faster than others
  • Want to talk about results by the fall
  • [I really want to see the results of this!]

Measuring Hispanic Racial Identity:
A Challenge to Traditional Definitions of Race; Mark Hugo Lopez, Pew Research Cente;r Ana Gonzalez-Barrera, Pew Research Center

  • Census leaves Hispanic as a separate question, came form the 7s
  • Do you ask Hispanic or race first?
  • What does “some other race” mean.. It tended to mean Mexican or Hispanic or Latin American.
  • People consider Hispanic to be a race regardless of what the researchers want it to mean
  • Hispanic identity is changing particularly when more have US parents 
  • It varies a lot depending on how you ask it
  • If you ask directly people will tell you they are black or indigenous. 
  • Multiple choices  maybe because people don’t find themselves in the list

The Size, Characteristics and Key Attitudes of Multiracial Americans; Juliana Horowitz, Pew Research Center Richard Morin, Pew Research Center

  • Asked race question of same people over a time span
  • Asked about parents and grandparent race
  • Data included self report and parent race
  • Included only mixed race in the data but they have demographic data on everyone
  • 2.9% said they are only one race but based on their parents could be called mixed race
  • another percent were mixed race based on grandparents
  • does this mean the census is wrong? no, it’s different
  • [LOVE the idea of asking about parents and grandparents, sort of gets to aculturation]
  • race is fluid
  • 30% mixed race people have seen themselves as being one race at some point, vice versa as well
  • 6.9% are mixed race based on these definitions
  • black native were called mixed race due to their grandparents information
  • identity gap – when questions don’t reflect how people see themselves
  • why don’t you say you’re mixed – were raised as one race and look like one race; treatment like discrimination can affect how your identity is felt
  • sometimes people feel proud about being mixed race, some feel more open to other cultures because of it, half have felt discrimination because of it
  • native people say if someone on the street saw them, they would say theyre white, but for black people they would be perceived as black
  • amount of contact with family relatives determined how people felt about themselves [really points out how race is a silly concept. it’s a cultural and social concept.]

    Do Multiracial Adults Favor One of their Background Races Over the Other: An Implicit Association Test; Annie Franco, Stanford University

    • By 2050 one in five Americans will be multiracial
    • Explicit vs implicit bias is important because some people will refuse to admit they are biased or won’t even know they are biased
    • Measured bias based on self reports as well as implicit measures 
    • People can pair words together more quickly if the words are consistent with their beliefs
    • 50% of white people show preference for their own group
    • White/Asian attitudes are closer to Asian than white
    • White/black are closer to black and are solidly positive on the black side
    • [lots of details here, I might have mixed things up, ask for the paper]
    • White/black express more positive view of blacks, white/Asian express less positive view of Asian
    • There are definite differences in implicit/explicit views [think of this in relation to the upcoming election in terms of which candidate is inline with your implicit views] 
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