How should I answer the race question if I am Middle Eastern or North African?

< Back

While adding a Middle East and North Africa (MENA) race category to the 2020 Census form was heavily discussed, the category was ultimately not added to the form. The 2020 Census form lists ‘Lebanese’ and ‘Egyptian’ in italics as examples of origins that may be associated with the ‘white’ race category in order to help guide certain respondents in their decision-making. However, as the Census Bureau notes on its website, “First, the question is based on how you identify. Second, the race categories generally reflect social definitions in the U.S. and are not an attempt to define race biologically, anthropologically, or genetically. We recognize that the race categories include racial and national origins and sociocultural groups.”

So, a respondent from Egypt or Lebanon, for example, who does not self-identify racially as ‘white’ may choose to select the ‘some other race’ category and write in their race or country of origin in the boxes provided. The respondent could also choose to select ‘white’ and another race category, and write in additional information regarding their origin under either or both race categories, to more accurately reflect their diverse heritage.

Complete your census now.