Arab and North African: Biden Administration revising Census forms to add in new race and ethnic categories


The Office of the Chief Statistician in the Biden Administration is revising categories for race and ethnicity to be finalized before the next U.S. Census, which takes place in 2030.

The draft recommendation is to:

  • Collect race and ethnicity together with a single question;
  • Add a category for Middle Eastern and North African, which would be separate and distinct from the “White” category; and
  • Update Statistical Policy Directive 15, which defines race, with new terminology, definitions, and question wording.

The recommendations are preliminary and the agency is asking for input from the public by April 12.

A change in the racial designation of Americans from Arab and North African ancestry could dramatically change the result of the next Census. Currently, there are thought to be nearly 3.5 million Arab Americans in the United States, with 94% living in major metropolitan areas, such as New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. In 2013, the Census Bureau reported less than 1.5 million Arab Americans, although that number is not based on actual Census data.

In the early days of U.S. immigration from the Middle East, Arabs seeking to gain citizenship in the United States had to check the “white” race box to become naturalized. In 1977, the Office of Management and Budget issued Directive 15, officially classifying as white those who descend from Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa. Defining the boundaries of the Middle East and North Africa have never been without controversy.

In 2010, Arab-American activists started a campaign to change how they are classified, resisting the idea that they are white. The Arab American Institute has taken a leadership role and wrote to the Census Bureau, requesting a new set of categories. The official effort began in earnest in 2014 under President Barack Obama, but ended during the Trump Administration in 2020. The Biden Administration has picked up the initiative to continue creating new race and ethnic categories.

The Working Group’s new website and the Federal Register Notice have more information and provide a place for feedback from the public.

“We are committed to a full, transparent revision process, guided by input from the American people. Your participation in this process will play a critical role in helping us improve the way Federal agencies safely and accurately collect and use information on the race and ethnicity of our diverse America. This is vital to ensure our programs and policies are effective across the Federal government—and we look forward to sharing additional updates in the months ahead. We are on track to reach the goal of completing these important revisions by the Summer of 2024,” said Karin Orvis, chief statistician of the United States.


  1. It’s ironic how the supposedly ‘non-racist’ and ‘anti-racist’ radical leftists are those who are actually most obsessed about race, and committed to dividing people according to their racial background.

  2. Normally, this info would not even catch my attention. I mean, who cares? But with all the wokesters trying to twist the most trivial data into racist/sexist/homophobic/transphobic/mysogynistic/etc., talking points, I can already imagine a change to make sure all those talking points stay controllable and organized. ‘Lets keep all those ‘groups’ well defined and identifiable’.

    Whatever happened to the idea of American citizens all being just that; American citizens.

  3. The Census’ only legal purpose for existence is to determine the apportionment of the House of Representatives among the States. Therefore, the only distinction I care about is CITIZEN or NON-CITIZEN.

  4. More racist tribal categories…all to serve the leftist agenda of divide and separate Americans.

    End all racial questions…they should be as irrelevant as hair color.

  5. Why not the Roman/Irish? You know First Tim and Second Tim (a good Irish name) might have been an invading Roman mix. For Pete’s sake, though…why?

Comments are closed.