Data Dictionary: Census 1980
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Survey: Census 1980
Data Source: U.S. Census Bureau and Social Explorer
Table: T12. Race [6]
Universe: Total Population
Table Details
T12. Race
Universe: Total Population
Variable Label
T012_001
T012_002
T012_003
T012_004
T012_005
T012_006
Relevant Documentation:
Excerpt from: Social Explorer, U.S. Census Bureau; Census of Population and Housing, 1980 [United States]: Summary Tape File 1a [Computer file]. ICPSR version. Washington, DC: U.S. Dept. of Commerce, Bureau of the Census [producer], 1982. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2002.
 
Race
All persons wore asked to identify themselves according to the following race categories on the 1980 questionnaire: White, Black or Negro, American Indian, Eskimo, Aleut, Japanese, Chinese, Filipino, Korean, Asian Indian, Vietnamese, Hawaiian, Guamanian, Samoan, and Other. The "Other" category includes Malayan, Polynesian, Thai, and other groups not included in the specific categories listed on the questionnaire. This item was asked on a complete-count basis.

Counts of the population by race in complete-count tabulations are provisional. Final counts for race will be determined after the sample data have been processed. The sample counts will first appear on tape on STF 3 and in print in Characteristics of the Population, General Social and Economic Characteristics (PC80-1-C) reports.

The concept of race as used by the Census bureau reflects self-identification by respondents; it does not denote any clear-cut scientific definition of biological stock. Since the 1980 census obtained information on race through self-identification, the data represent self-classification by people according to the race with which they identify themselves. For persons with parents of different races who could not provide a single response to the race question, the race of the person's mother was used; however, if a single response could not be provided for the person's mother, the first race reported by the person was used.

During clerical operations on all questionnaires, write-in responses were reviewed in an attempt to classify entries to existing categories. For instance, if the other circle was marked and accompanied by a write-in entry of Caucasian, the other circle was erased and the circle for "White" was filled, (additional examples are noted below.) However, Hispanic write-in categories such as "Mexican" or "Puerto Rican" were not recoded during complete-count processing, nor were Asian/Pacific Islander entries such as "Cambodian," "Indo-Chinese," or "Polynesian." During the subsequent processing of sample questionnaires, all persons in the "other" category with write-in entries were assigned codes which were recorded on the basic records.

After sample coding, or "Polynesian" categories such as "Cambodian," "Indo-Chinese," are collectively tabulated as "Other Asian and Pacific Islander" in sample tabulations with detailed race categories and added into the broader "Asian and Pacific Islander* category in other sample tabulations by race. This shifts a significant part of those cases tabulated as "other races" in complete-count data to "Asian and Pacific Islander" in sample data and affects the comparability between complete-count and sample data for these broad groups.

Persons who indicated their race as White, as well as persons who did not classify themselves in one of the specific race categories listed on the questionnaire but entered a response such as Canadian, German, Italian, Lebanese, or Polish. (Persons who did not classify themselves in one of the specified race categories but wrote in entries such as Cuban, Puerto Rican, Mexican, or Dominican were included in the "Other races" category; in the 1970 census most of these persons were included in the "White" category.)

Persons who indicated their race as Black or Negro, as well as persons who did not classify themselves in one of the specific race categories, but reported entries such as Black Puerto Rican, Haitian, Jamaican, Nigerian, or West Indian.

American Indian, Eskimo, and Aleut
American Indian
Persons who indicated their race as "Indian (American)" or who did not indicate a specific race category but reported the name of an Indian tribe.

Eskimo
Persons who indicated their race as "Eskimo."

Persons who indicated their race as "Aleut."

Asian and Pacific Islander
In complete-count tabulations, includes all of the groups listed below except "Other Asian and Pacific Islander." In sample tabulations, it includes all of the groups listed below.

Japanese
Persons who indicated their race as Japanese, as well as persons who did not classify themselves in one of the specific race categories, but entered a response such as Nipponese or Japanese American.

Chinese
Persons who indicated their race as Chinese, as well as persons who did not classify themselves in one of the specific race categories, but reported entries such as Cantonese, Formosan, Taiwanese, or Tibetan.

Filipino
Persons who indicated their race as Filipino, as well as persons who did not classify themselves in one of the specific race categories, but entered a response such as Filipino American or Philippine.

Korean
Persons who indicated their race as Korean, as well as persons who did not classify themselves in one of the specific race categories, but reported a response such as Korean American.

Asian Indian
Persons who indicated their race as Asian Indian, as well as persons who did not classify themselves in one of the specific race categories, but reported entries such as Bengali, Bharati, Dravidian, East Indian, Goanese, Hindu Indic, Kashmiri, or South Asian.

Vietnamese
Persons who indicated their race as Vietnamese, as well as persons who did not classify themselves in one of the specific race categories, but reported a response such as Vietnam.

Hawaiian
Persons who indicated their race as Hawaiian. In the State of Hawaii, al1 persons who reported "Part-Hawaiian" were included in this category. Guamanian. Persons who indicated their race as Guamanian, as well as persons who did not classify themselves in one of the race categories, but reported an entry such as Chamorro or Guam.

Samoan
Persons who indicated their race as Samoan, as well as persons who did not classify themselves in one of the specific race categories, but entered a response such as American Samoan or Western Samoan.

Other Asian and Pacific Islander
In sample tabulations only, persons who reported Cambodian, Hmong, Indo-Chinese, Laotian, Pakistani, Polynesian, Fiji Islander, Tahitian, Thai, or similar responses. Census basic records include codes for over 50 separate race group s within this category. In complete-count tabulations, this group is part of the "Other races" category below.

Other Races
Includes Asian and Pacific Islander groups not identified-separately (e.g., Cambodian, Indo-Chinese, Pakistani, Indonesian, Fiji Islander) and other races not included in the specific categories listed on the questionnaire. (Asian and Pacific Islander groups in the "other" category in 100-percent tabulations are included in the category "Asian and Pacific Islander" in sample tabulations. Persons who wrote in "Mexican," "Cuban," "South American," "Chicano," or "La Raza" remained in the "other" races category for both complete-count and sample tabulations.)

In a few tables in which data for American Indian, Eskimo, Aleut, and Asian and Pacific Islander are not presented separately, the "Other" category encompasses all race categories not shown separately.

In some tabulations, the "Other" or "Race, n.e.c." category is omitted to save space; data for this category are derivable by subtracting the sum of the specified race categories from the total.

In certain printed tables, where space is limited, data for persons of Spanish origin are presented alongside data for up to four major race groups. In such situations, users should not be misled by the proximity of these two types of data. Spanish origin is not a race category, and persons of Spanish origin may be of any race. Tabulations in a number of sources present data separately for race categories (e.g., White, Black, and "Other") for persons not of Spanish origin. In addition, the number of Spanish-origin persons is given by race.

Limitations
In previous censuses, undercoverage of the population has been associated with race. The 1970 census missed Blacks at a much higher rate than Whites. The Bureau has not prepared undercoverage rates for races other than White or Black, because vital records and other sources of relevant statistics do not consistently distinguish among other races.

Historical comparability
Questions on "race" or "color" have been asked in each census since 1790. In 1970, when persons with parents of different races were in doubt 8s to their classification, the race of the father was used. In 1980, the race of the mother was used for persons who could not provide a single response. The 1970 category "Negro or Black" has been retitled "Black or Negro. Individual categories for Vietnamese, Asian Indian, Guamanian, and Samoan have been added. In 1970, the categories Eskimo and Aleut appeared only on questionnaires used in Alaska; they were replaced by Hawaiian and Korean in all other States. In 1980, all four categories appeared on the questionnaire.

As a result of the additions, the 1980 questionnaire had 14 specific race categories instead of 8 as in 1970. In 1970, persons who did not report a specific race but wrote in Hispanic categories such as "Mexican," "Puerto Rican," or "Cuban" in the race question were assigned to White; for 1980 these persons remain in the "Other races category.

See also: "Race of Householder;" "Spanish Origin."