Do you identify as “negro?”

The U.S. Census Bureau is considering removing the term “Negro” from its questionnaire by the year 2020. The term accompanies “Black” and “African-American” in the racial categories section.

This is not the first time the Census Bureau has considered removing the racial category but decided against removing it several years ago after a 2000 study showed that a significant number of people still identified as “Negro” on the questionnaire. At the time, many people in the Black community were surprised to hear the term would remain on the 2010 questionnaire.

After the 2010 questionnaire, the Census Bureau cited findings that showed the removal of “Negro” on the questionnaire “did not change the distribution of the black population across the experimental questionnaires.” The Census Bureau reported the number of people identifying as “Negro” continued to decrease.

This would not be the first time a racial identifier was removed from the census, the Grio reported that in 1920 the term mulatto, which refers to a person who is mixed with both Black and white, was removed.

Another possible change in the questionnaire is adding “Hispanic” as a racial category. Currently, the term is only listed under ethnic backgrounds.

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