Steve September 14, 2021
does-the-census-not-adequately-capture-your-racial-identity?-we-want-to-hear-your-story.

The U.S. Census Bureau released a surprising finding in their August announcement of 2020 census results: The number of Americans who identify as multiracial jumped 276 percent over the last decade. Then again, depending on how you count, the share of Americans that identify as white either rose 2 percent — or dropped 9 percent.

Racial identity is not always easily captured by checkboxes. That’s why we’re hoping to talk with Americans who either feel like the census doesn’t wholly capture their racial identity or identify as a member of one or more racial and ethnic groups. To be sure, that can mean a lot of different things, as each person has a unique background and culture that makes his or her story special, but we are particularly interested in talking to people who feel their racial identity is disconnected from what they must put on the census, people who have changed their racial or ethnic identity over the last decade, and multiracial people with some white ancestry.

Here are some examples of experiences we’re interested in learning about: Are you Arab American or Iranian American, but compelled to check “white” on the census? Or were you born to parents who identify with different racial groups? Have you changed your racial or ethnic identity over the last decade? And finally, how does the census still fall short of accurately categorizing how you identify? We’re interested in unpacking this and how America’s racial categories have changed over time — especially as to what that means for our growing population. So we want to hear from you. Fill out the survey below, and tell us a bit about yourself, your family and how you would categorize and describe your racial identity. Sharing your thoughts with us will help guide our reporting on changing racial demographics in America. We may also reach out with follow up questions to learn more about how you think about racial identity. We look forward to hearing from you

Alex Samuels is a politics reporter at FiveThirtyEight. @AlexSamuelsx5

Jasmine Mithani is a visual journalist for FiveThirtyEight. @jazzmyth

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