Current Weather
The Spy FM

No More ‘Negro’ For Census Bureau Forms And Surveys

Filed by KOSU News in US News.
February 25, 2013

The Census Bureau announced Monday that it would drop the word “Negro” from its forms, after some described it as offensive. According to the Associated Press, the term will be replaced next year by black or African-American. From the AP:

“The change will take effect next year when the Census Bureau distributes its annual American Community Survey to more than 3.5 million U.S. households, Nicholas Jones, chief of the bureau’s racial statistics branch, said in an interview.”

AP reports that the term was first used in the 1900 Census, and back in 2010, a bureau public information officer told us that the word had been on Census forms since about 1950.

But the bureau and the Census Director’s Blog decided to tackle the issue after many African-American people complained about it during the 2010 Census.

“The category ‘Black, African Am., or Negro’ was used in Census 2000, based on research in the late 1990s that showed there was an older cohort of African-Americans who self-identified as ‘Negro.’ Surprisingly, about 56,000 persons took the time to write in under the ‘some other race’ category the word ‘Negro.’ Above half of them were less than 45 years of age in 2000.

“The Census Bureau didn’t do any research on the respondent reaction to the word ‘Negro’ in the 2000s, but did do tests that showed answers to the ethnicity and race questions tended to change depending on the order of the questions. I think some research on the sensitivity of answers to the presence of ‘Negro’ should have been done last decade, but I am unaware of what limitations there were on the research program then.”

We asked readers what they thought about it at the time, and it was tight. But about 53 percent of those who answered our question seemed to find it OK.

However, Census Bureau research and public feedback turned up different results, so moving forward “Negro” will not be an option. [Copyright 2013 NPR]

Leave a Reply

5AM to 9AM Morning Edition

Morning Edition

For more than two decades, NPR's Morning Edition has prepared listeners for the day ahead with two hours of up-to-the-minute news, background analysis, commentary, and coverage of arts and sports.

Listen Live Now!

9AM to 10AM The Takeaway

The Takeaway

A fresh alternative in morning news, "The Takeaway" provides a breadth and depth of world, national and regional news coverage that is unprecedented in public media.

View the program guide!

10AM to 11PM On Point

On Point

On Point unites distinct and provocative voices with passionate discussion as it confronts the stories that are at the center of what is important in the world today. Leaving no perspective unchallenged, On Point digs past the surface and into the core of a subject, exposing each of its real world implications.

View the program guide!

Upcoming Events in your area (Submit your event today!)

Streaming audio and podcasts

Stream KOSU on your smartphone

Phone Streaming

SmartPhone listening options on this page are intended for many iPhones, Blackberries, etc. with low-cost software applications available to listen to our full-time web streams, both News on KOSU-1 and Classical on KOSU-2.

Learn more about our complete range of streaming services

We're perfecting the patient experience - Stillwater Medical Center