Race/ethnicity and the 2000 census: recommendations for African American and other black populations in the United States

Am J Public Health. 2000 Nov;90(11):1728-30. doi: 10.2105/ajph.90.11.1728.


This commentary considers the implications of the assessment of racial/ethnic status for monitoring the health of African Americans and other Black populations in the United States. It argues that because racial disparities in health and other social indicators persist undiminished, the continued assessment of race is essential. However, efforts must be made to ensure that racial data are of the highest quality. This will require uniform assessment of racial status that includes identifiers for subgroups of the Black population. Research also indicates that the health of multiracial persons varies by maternal race. Thus, efforts to monitor multiracial status should assess the race of both parents. More attention should also be given to analysis and interpretation of racial data and to the collection of additional data that capture characteristics linked to race (such as socioeconomic factors and racism) that may adversely affect health.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • African Americans / classification*
  • African Americans / statistics & numerical data
  • African Continental Ancestry Group / classification*
  • Bias
  • Censuses*
  • Cultural Diversity
  • Data Collection / methods*
  • Data Collection / standards*
  • Guidelines as Topic
  • Health Status Indicators
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Needs Assessment
  • Parents
  • Prejudice
  • United States