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In 1997, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) mandated the disaggregation of Asian and Pacific Islander data. As health problems among Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders are often obscured due to the aggregation of NHPI and Asian data, this was an essential step in understanding the problems facing this culturally unique population.

Revisions to the Standards for the Classification of Federal Data on Race and Ethnicity

Federal Register Notice October 30, 1997


Revisions to the Standards for the Classification of Federal Data on Race and Ethnicity

AGENCY: Executive Office of the President, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs

ACTION: Notice of decision.

SUMMARY: By this Notice, OMB is announcing its decision concerning the revision of Statistical Policy Directive No. 15, Race and Ethnic Standards for Federal Statistics and Administrative Reporting. OMB is accepting the recommendations of the Interagency Committee for the Review of the Racial and Ethnic Standards with the following two modifications: (1) the Asian or Pacific Islander category will be separated into two categories — “Asian” and “Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander,” and (2) the term “Hispanic” will be changed to “Hispanic or Latino.”

The revised standards will have five minimum categories for data on race:

1. American Indian or Alaska Native,
2. Asian,
3. Black or African American,
4. Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, and
5. White.
6. There will be two categories for data on ethnicity: “Hispanic or Latino” and “Not Hispanic or Latino.”

The “Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander” category will be defined as “A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Hawaii, Guam, Samoa, or other Pacific Islands.” (The term “Native Hawaiian” does not include individuals who are native to the State of Hawaii by virtue of being born there.) In addition to Native Hawaiians, Guamanians, and Samoans, this category would include the following Pacific Islander groups reported in the 1990 census: Carolinian, Fijian, Kosraean, Melanesian, Micronesian, Northern Mariana Islander, Palauan, Papua New Guinean, Ponapean (Pohnpelan), Polynesian, Solomon Islander, Tahitian, Tarawa Islander, Tokelauan, Tongan, Trukese (Chuukese), and Yapese.

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