The “Census Tour” came to San Jose last week in an effort to promote awareness about the upcoming Census campaign. San Jose residents will be asked ten questions. Some of the questions are centered exclusively on race and ethnicity. And, amazingly, one question contains labels that some people find offensive.
Here are segments of the questions:
1) How many people were living or staying in this house, apartment, or mobile home on April 1, 2010?
2) Where there any additional people staying here April 1, 2010 that you did not include in Question 1?
3) Is this house, apartment, or mobile home owned by…(4 choices)
4) What is your telephone number?
“we may call if we don’t understand an answer.”
5) Please provide information for each person living here. Start with a person living here who owns or rents this house, apartment, or mobile home. If the owner or renter lives somewhere else, start with any adult living here. This will be Person 1. What is Person 1’s name? (print names below)
6) What is Person 1’s sex?
male or female
7) What is Person 1’s age and what is Person 1’s date of birth?
8) Is Person 1 Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin?
“Asked since 1970, the data collected in this question are needed by federal agencies to monitor compliance with anti-discrimination provisions, such as under the Voting rights Act and the Civil Rights Act. State and local governments may use the data to help plan and administer bilingual programs for people of Hispanic origin.”
9) What is Person 1’s race? (mark one or more boxes)
Black, African Am., or Negro
American Indian or Alaska Native
Other Asian (print)
Guamanian or Chamorro
Other Pacific Islander (print)
Some other race (print)
10) Does Person 1 sometimes live or stay somewhere else?
among the choices…
“in college housing”
“in a nursing home”
“in jail or prison”
The 2010 Census is a race-based marketing survey, not a national head count. Why is there a question specifically for Hispanics? Why is there a designation for specific nationalities (ie Japanese, Korean, Filipino, and more), but just one for “Whites?” And, why does the Census Bureau make use of the terms “Black” and “Negro?”