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Definitions for New Race and Ethnicity Categories

Race/ethnicity (new definition)
Categories developed in 1997 by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) that are used to describe groups to which individuals belong, identify with, or belong in the eyes of the community. The categories do not denote scientific definitions of anthropological origins. The designations are used to categorize U.S. citizens, resident aliens, and other eligible non-citizens. Individuals are asked to first designate ethnicity as:
  • Hispanic or Latino or
  • Not Hispanic or Latino
Second, individuals are asked to indicate one or more races that apply among the following:
  • American Indian or Alaska Native
  • Asian
  • Black or African American
  • Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander
  • White
Hispanic or Latino
A person of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race.
American Indian or Alaska Native
A person having origins in any of the original peoples of North and South America (including Central America) who maintains cultural identification through tribal affiliation or community attachment.
Asian
A person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian Subcontinent, including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippine Islands, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Black or African American
A person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa.
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander
A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Hawaii, Guam, Samoa, or other Pacific Islands.
White
A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa.
Nonresident alien
A person who is not a citizen or national of the United States and who is in this country on a visa or temporary basis and does not have the right to remain indefinitely. Note: Nonresident aliens are to be reported separately in the places provided, rather than in any of the racial/ethnic categories described above.
Resident alien (and other eligible non-citizens)
A person who is not a citizen or national of the United States but who has been admitted as a legal immigrant for the purpose of obtaining permanent resident alien status (and who holds either an alien registration card (Form I-551 or I-151), a Temporary Resident Card (Form I-688), or an Arrival-Departure Record (Form I-94) with a notation that conveys legal immigrant status such as Section 207 Refugee, Section 208 Asylee, Conditional Entrant Parolee or Cuban-Haitian). Note: Resident aliens are to be reported in the appropriate racial/ethnic categories along with United States citizens.
Race/ethnicity unknown
The category used to report students or employees whose race and ethnicity are not known.

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National Center for Education Statistics - http://nces.ed.gov
U.S. Department of Education