Pop-Facts - How do I report on race vs. ethnicity?

In Pop-Facts, race and ethnicity are defined as:

Race refers to a person's self-identification with one or more social groups. One can identify as White, Black or African American, American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander or Multiple races. People who identify their origin as Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish may be of any race.

Ethnicity in the American Census refers to Hispanic or Latino origin. 

In Pop-Facts, population and household variables can be reported on in the following ways:

Categories Definition Variable Total
Population by Ethnicity and Single Race The number of persons identifying with an ethnicity combined with a single race category and no others. 

Sums up to total 

Population by Race Alone or in Combination (AOIC) The number of persons identifying with race alone, combined with a single race either by itself or with other categories. 

Does not sum up to total 

Population by Ethnicity and Race Alone or in Combination (AOIC) The number of persons identifying with ethnicity or race alone, combined with a single race either by itself or with other categories. 

Does not sum up to total 

Households by Ethnicity and Single Race The number of households identifying with an ethnicity combined with a single race category and no others.

Sums up to total 

Households by Race Alone  The number of households identifying with race alone, along with two or more races.

Sums up to total 

Households by Ethnicity Alone The number of households identifying as either Hispanic/Latino or not Hispanic/Latino.

Sums up to total 


Definitions of race and ethnicity differ based on geography and dataset. The Census Bureau adheres to the USA Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) definition of race and ethnicity. If you license Pop-Facts, you may want to gain a deeper understanding of how these variables are defined and reported.

Race: The Census Bureau defines race as a person's self-identification with one or more social groups, it is not an attempt to define race biologically, anthropologically or genetically. In the American Census, respondents can identify as either:

  • White – A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa
  • Black or African American – A person having origins in any of the Black racial groups of Africa
  • American Indian or Alaska Native – A person having origins in any of the original peoples of North and South America (including Central America) and who maintains tribal affiliation or community attachment
  • Asian – A person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian subcontinent including Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippine Islands, Thailand, and Vietnam
  • Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander – A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Hawaii, Guam, Samoa, or other Pacific Islands
  • Multiple Races – A person having multiple or mixed origins

Note: People who identify their origin as Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish may be of any race.

Ethnicity: There are two minimum categories for ethnicity: Hispanic or Latino and Not Hispanic or Latino. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) considers race and Hispanic origin to be two separate and distinct concepts. 

You can report on ethnicity and race in one of the following ways:

  • Population by Ethnicity and Single Race: you can identify the number of persons identifying with an ethnicity combined with a single race category and no others 
  • Population by Race Alone or in Combination (AOIC): you can report on the number of persons identifying with ethnicity or race alone, combined with a single race either by itself or with other categories 
  • Households by Ethnicity and Race: you can identify the number of households identifying with a single race or ethnicity, combined with a single race either by itself or with others 

Population by Ethnicity and Single Race
The sum of all categories under single classifications of race will equal the total population. For example, the sum of Hispanics and Non-Hispanics will add up to the total population. 

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Population by Race Alone or in Combination (AOIC)
The sum of all categories under race alone or in combination does not equal to the total population. It sums up to more than the total population because these categories account for people that have marked more than one race category, hence, double counting. For example, Hispanic and Non-Hispanic counts will not add up to the total population if combined with race. 

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Households by Ethnicity and Race
The sum of all categories under single classifications of ethnicity and race will equal the total households. The sum of all ethnicity categories combined with a single race either by itself or with others will also equal the total households. For example, the sum of Hispanics and Non-Hispanics will add up to the total households. 

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Reporting on Hispanic/Latino Populations
The Census Bureau currently defines Hispanic or Latino as an ethnicity, not a race. In the census, race and Hispanic ethnicity are separate questions, meaning people of Hispanic ethnicity can be of any race. The census also allows respondents to select "one or more" boxes when responding to the race question. 

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