How to Ask Race & Ethnicity on a Survey
If demographic benchmarks and trends are essential to your business and the research you conduct (things like age, gender, race, ethnicity, and region) then our just-published 2020 Spring Newsletter has information you absolutely need to know.
The U.S. Census Bureau continues to change how it collects and classifies demographic data. Right now the Bureau is engaged in its every-ten-years BIG census that will survey every household in the nation. It will have a lasting impact on all of us for at least the next ten years.
Our feature article on How to Ask Race & Ethnicity on a Survey highlights what the Census Bureau is doing, and how it will affect your business and the research you conduct.
Here is what we cover:
- Race and ethnicity are asked differently from years past. We’ll show you the old and the new, and explain why Census Bureau researchers had hoped for even bigger changes.
- The new questions are complex, just like the old ones, which some people find confusing. But survey respondents are resilient. We’ll provide a brief overview of how the questions were validated.
- You will have to incorporate the new questions into your work. There is no choice if you want to reference census data. But should it change your approach to asking about race and ethnicity in your own surveys? We’ll show you our recommended approach.
Right now the 2020 Census questions on race and ethnicity are probably the most thoroughly tested and validated survey questions ever on the planet! But we urge you to think carefully about adopting (or adapting) their approach for your own marketing and research efforts.
If you have additional questions after reading the newsletter, or if you would like to discuss anything else, please reach out! We are always happy to help.
—Joe Hopper, Ph.D.