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RACHSING
Race: Simplified race/ethnicity identification

Description

RACHSING codes race and Hispanic origin responses into a simple, historically compatible scheme that includes only federally defined race and Hispanic origin (ethnicity) groups. RACHSING assigns people to a single race/ethnicity group. Asian and Pacific Islander response categories are combined for historical compatibility. Non-Hispanic multiple-race responses and non-Hispanic responses including “some other race” are simplified in RACHSING.

All people who reported Hispanic origins are classified as Hispanic in RACHSING regardless of their race response. Non-Hispanic single-race respondents (American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian and/or Pacific Islander, Black/African American, and White) are classified in their respective RACHSING category. Non-Hispanic people who reported “some other race” in combination with one of these race groups were classified as if they had not reported “some other race.”

Non-Hispanic multiple-race people and non-Hispanic people who reported only “some other race” are assigned to a single RACHSING category. To do this, RACHSING uses methods similar to those described in Ingram, et al. (2003) but with updated source data (1997-2018 National Health Interview Survey data; calculations funded by the National Cancer Institute) and adjustments for differences in the geographic scale available in public data.

Specifically: For each non-Hispanic multiple-race person, an equation used the individual’s age, sex, region, and the urbanization level and racial diversity of their PUMA or PUMASUPR to predict which single race the person would have chosen if asked to choose only one. Predicted values for each non-Hispanic race group are given in PREDAI, PREDAPI, PREDBLK, and PREDWHT. Non-Hispanic “some other race” respondents’ values are the average PREDAI, PREDAPI, PREDBLK, and PREDWHT values (rescaled to total 1) of people in the respondents’ state with the same five-year age group and US-born/foreign-born status.

The sum of values for PREDAI, PREDAPI, PREDBLK, PREDHISP, and PREDWHT equals 1 for all people. Hispanic respondents have a PREDHISP value of 1, and therefore have values of 0 for all other prediction variables. Non-Hispanic respondents have a PREDHISP value of 0 and varied values for all other prediction variables.

The highest of the predicted values represented in the PRED variables was used to assign each person to a RACHSING group. If PRED values were equal, the individual was assigned to the RACHSING category of the group with the smaller national population.

Although this simplification was done carefully, it should not be assumed that it is useful or required in every situation. It may not be needed if the user can tolerate a "break" in the racial coding system of their data series, or if an analysis includes only data from 2000 and beyond. The full detail of responses to the race question is preserved in RACE and the full detail of responses to the Hispanic ethnicity question is preserved in HISPAN.

Please note that RACESING, an earlier version of RACHSING, is also available on the IPUMS website. The RACESING predicted value variables are: PROBAI, PROBAPI, PROBBLK, PROBWHT, and PROBOTH.

Codes and Frequencies



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Comparability

This variable is fully comparable across all years for which it is available.

Universe

  • All persons.

Availability

United States
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  • 2019: All samples
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  • 2005: All samples
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  • 2003: All samples
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  • 2000: All samples
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Puerto Rico
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Flags

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Editing Procedure

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