News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. April 7, 2017: Caribbean immigrants in the U.S. and those with Caribbean roots will be better able to self-identify in the next Census, officials of Carib ID, the group founded in 2008 to lobby for better self-identification on US Census forms, said Thursday.
CaribID founder Felicia J. Persaud, who started the lobbying effort nine years ago, told News Americas Now exclusively that recent information received from the Census suggests that the 2020 forms will be designed to allow for individuals of Caribbean heritage, and of all heritages, to fully self-identify their diverse heritage.
This means that persons from the region will be able to write in their country while also choosing the race group they identify with. For example, under the category “Black or African American” on Census forms, black Caribbean nationals will now be able to choose the race group while writing in their country.
For the first time, Jamaican and Haitian, the two Caribbean groups which are among the largest Black detailed groups in the United States, will be listed under the “Black or African American” category on the form.
Other Caribbean nationals can also report that they are Jamaican, Chinese, and English or Asian Indian and Afro-Trinidadian.
Persaud called the moves from the Census a “progressive” resolution to the problem of lack of self-identification on past forms.
And she said she looks forward to it becoming a reality in the 2020 Census and to Caribbean nationals and those with Caribbean roots taking full advantage of this opportunity to count.
“Data on Caribbean nationals in the US is currently sparse based largely on the fact that this bloc has had no previous opportunity to self-identify in the past. Hopefully the 2020 Census goes a long way to changing that,” said Persaud.
The forms redesign is based on a 2015 NCT research on race/ethnicity aimed at improving the question design and data quality for race/ethnicity, while addressing community concerns over the past several years, including the call for more detailed, disaggregated data for the diverse American experiences, Census officials said