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Am J Public Health. 2000 Nov;90(11):1709-13.

Race/ethnicity and the 2000 census: implications for public health.

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  • 1National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Hyattsville, MD 20782, USA.



This article addresses the potential impact of the revised standards for race and ethnicity on data from the 2000 census and public health data sources, policies, and programs.


The authors examine the relationship between race/ethnicity and health in selected measures, identify the factors that influence race/ethnicity identification, consider past experience in race/ethnicity reporting, and explore the challenges in understanding and managing the effects of new racial/ethnic categories in various data sets.


The multiple-race group seems to compose only a small percentage of the US population and may have little impact on data for single-race groups. Actual effects will vary according to a number of factors, including the size, composition, and geographic distribution of the group.


More research is needed to support a thorough understanding of the reporting of multirace data and the development of techniques for analyzing these data. Given the importance of understanding the relationship between race/ethnicity and health, the ability to produce useful, comparable, and meaningful data is essential.

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