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March 9, 2000
OMB BULLETIN NO. 00-02
TO THE HEADS OF EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND ESTABLISHMENTS
Guidance on Aggregation and Allocation of Data on Race for Use in Civil Rights
Monitoring and Enforcement
Purpose: This Bulletin establishes guidance for agencies that collect or use aggregate data on
race. It also establishes guidance for the allocation of multiple race responses for use in civil
rights monitoring and enforcement.
Background: The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) announced revisions to the
standards for classification of Federal data on race and ethnicity in a Federal Register Notice of
October 30, 1997 (62 FR 58782-58790). Revisions to these standards followed a lengthy process
that included considerable public involvement and active participation from more than 30 Federal
agencies. The revised standards require, among other things, that agencies offer individuals the
opportunity to select one or more races when reporting information on race in Federal data
collections. The five minimum race categories are American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian,
Black or African American, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, and White.
Census 2000 will be the first nationwide implementation of the revised standards. Data from
Census 2000 will capture more accurately the increasing diversity of the Nation's population.
Results from Census 2000 will display the full range of single and multiple race reporting by the
As the revised standards for collecting and presenting data are implemented, we must ensure that
we maintain our ability to monitor compliance with laws that offer protections for those who
historically have experienced discrimination. In addition, we must minimize reporting burden for
institutions such as schools and businesses that report aggregate data on race to Federal agencies.
In response to requests from agencies responsible for monitoring and enforcing civil rights laws,
OMB has led an interagency group to develop guidance. This guidance addresses the collection of
aggregate data when agencies request information from businesses, schools, and other entities.
The guidance also addresses the allocation by agencies of responses, whether individual or
aggregate, for use in civil rights monitoring and enforcement.
Guidance for aggregation and allocation of multiple race responses for use in civil rights
monitoring and enforcement: The attached guidance is designed to be straightforward and easy
to implement. It provides consistency across agencies responsible for enforcing civil rights laws,
and does not preclude the use of more detailed data if an agency chooses to do so. The guidance
does not involve methods that require either fractional or double counting of individuals, or
arbitrary allocation of responses to one minority group versus another.
Implementation process: OMB will continue to work closely with the enforcement agencies
and the civil rights community to assess these methods as they are implemented over the next few
years and to consider the need for future modifications. The guidance provided in this Bulletin
will be reflected in the Provisional Guidance on the Implementation of the 1997 Standards for
Federal Data on Race and Ethnicity that will be available from OMB later this year.
Inquiries: Inquiries concerning the information in this Bulletin should be directed to
Katherine< K. Wallman, Chief Statistician (202-395-3093).
Jacob J. Lew Director
Guidance on Aggregation and Allocation of Multiple Race Responses
for Use in Civil Rights Monitoring and Enforcement
I. Aggregation Guidance: Census 2000 will provide 63 categories of data on the population by
race; these data will be available by April 1, 2001, at the national, state, local, and census tract
levels. Data collected by Federal enforcement agencies often are provided by businesses and
institutions in aggregate form. To facilitate agency efforts to work with data on race, an
aggregation method is presented below. This method keeps intact the five single race categories,
and includes the four double race combinations most frequently reported in recent studies. The
method also provides for the collection of information on any multiple race combinations that
comprise more than one percent of the population of interest. Based on data from Census 2000,
responsible agencies will determine which additional combinations meet the one percent
threshold for the relevant jurisdictions. A balance category is provided to report those individual
responses that are not included in (1) one of the five single race categories or four double race
combinations or (2) other combinations that represent more than one percent of the population in
a jurisdiction. The following example illustrates this guidance.
American Indian or Alaska Native
Black or African American
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander
American Indian or Alaska Native and White
Asian and White
Black or African American and White
American Indian or Alaska Native and Black or
> 1 percent: Fill in if
> 1 percent: Fill in if
Balance of individuals reporting more than one
II. Allocation Guidance: Federal agencies will use the following rules to allocate multiple race
responses for use in civil rights monitoring and enforcement.
Responses in the five single race categories are not allocated.
Responses that combine one minority race and white are allocated to the minority race.
Responses that include two or more minority races are allocated as follows:
If the enforcement action is in response to a complaint, allocate to the race that the
complainant alleges the discrimination was based on.
If the enforcement action requires assessing disparate impact or discriminatory patterns,
analyze the patterns based on alternative allocations to each of the minority groups.
Allocation for enforcement purposes should not be confused with various allocation methods
under consideration for "bridging" to past data collections as described in OMB's Provisional
Guidance on the Implementation of the 1997 Standards for Federal Data on Race and Ethnicity.
These bridging methods would take advantage of information being gleaned from Census 2000
and other experimental work being carried out by the statistical agencies. The principal purpose
of allocation for bridging is to conduct trend or time series analysis.
1. Based on Census 2000 data, agencies will determine the race combinations that meet the one
percent threshold. For example, in Hawaii there may well be combinations of race groups that
meet this threshold such as Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander and Asian, or Native
Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander and White, or Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander and
Asian and White.