OMB Proposes Updates to Race and Ethnicity Standards

Last week, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) published a notice and request for comments on their effort to improve the quality and usefulness of Federal race and ethnicity data. The topics for evaluation include 1) whether the guidelines for collecting and reporting race and ethnicity data can be improved, 2) how to best address detailed race and ethnicity groups; and 3) the wording of questions and instructions for respondents.  The working group is also seeking participants for their virtual, bi-monthly listening sessions to hear directly from members of the public. According to one study analyzing the latest  Census data, the rural population declined between 2010 and 2020 to just 14 percent of the U.S. total.  At the same time, racial and ethnic diversity in rural areas increased overall, with Hispanics representing 9 percent of the rural population, followed by non-Hispanic Black people, representing 7.7 percent.  Nearly one-third of all rural children (32.5 percent) come from racial or ethnic minority populations, compared to 28.1 percent in 2010. Comments are due by April 12, 2023.