Impacts of Multiple Race Reporting on Rural Health Policy and Data Analysis


Examines some of the impacts to rural health analysis of new federal policy that allows people to choose one or more race categories when classifying themselves. Implementation of the new policy in the 2000 Census yields 63 possible combinations of race classification. Report also presents data on the number of persons choosing more than one race, discusses ways that analysts can handle the issues surrounding multiple race data, and compares several methods for bridging the change from the old single-race system to the new multiple-race system. Among its findings: rural Americans were less inclined to identify themselves as more than one race than were urban Americans; rural western residents were the only ones more inclined to choose multiple races than the rural average; and rural residents of Hawaii, Alaska, and Oklahoma were the most likely to identify with multiple races while those of Mississippi, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina were the least likely to do so.

North Carolina Rural Health Research and Policy Analysis Center
Randy Randolph, Rebecca Slifkin, Lynn Whitener, Anna Wulfsberg