OMB 15 1977 Version

As Adopted 1977
(Full text available from OMB directly)

     This Directive provides standard classifications for recordkeeping, collection, and presentation of data on race and ethnicity in Federal program administrative reporting and statistical activities.  These classifications should not be interpreted as being scientific or anthropological in nature, nor should they be viewed as determinants of eligibility for participation in any Federal program.  They have been developed in response to needs expressed by both the executive branch and the Congress to provide for the collection and use of compatible, nonduplicated, exchangeable racial and ethnic data by Federal agencies.

1. Definitions

     The basic racial and ethnic categories for Federal statistics and program administrative reporting are defined as follows:

a. American Indian or Alaskan Native.  A person having origins in any of the original peoples of North America, and who maintains cultural identification through tribal affiliation or community recognition.

b. Asian or Pacific Islander.  A person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent, or the Pacific Islands.  This area includes, for example, China, India, Japan, Korea, the Philippine Islands, and Samoa.

c. Black.  A person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa.

d. Hispanic.  A person of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Central or South American or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race.

e. White.  A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, North Africa, or the Middle East.

2. Utilization

     To provide flexibility, it is preferable to collect data on race and ethnicity separately.  If separate race and ethnic categories are used, the minimum designations are:

a. Race:

--- American Indian or Alaska Native.
--- Asian or Pacific Islander.
--- Black.
--- White.

b. Ethnicity:

--- Hispanic origin.
--- Not of Hispanic origin.

     When race and ethnicity are collected separately, the number of White and Black persons who are Hispanic must be identifiable, and capable of being reported in that category.

      If a combined format is used to collect racial and ethnic data, the minimum acceptable categories are:

American Indian or Alaska Native.
Asian or Pacific Islander.
Black, not of Hispanic origin.
Hispanic.
White, not of Hispanic origin.

     The category which most closely reflects the individual's recognittion in his community should be used for purposes of reporting on persons who are of mixed racial and/or ethnic origins.  (emphasis added)