Race and ethnicity in the United States is a complex topic because the United States of America has a racially and ethnically diverse population. At the federal level, race and ethnicity have been categorized separately.

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  • Race and ethnicity in the United States is a complex topic because the United States of America has a racially and ethnically diverse population. At the federal level, race and ethnicity have been categorized separately. The most recent United States Census officially recognized five racial categories (White American, Black or African American, Native American and Alaska Native, Asian American, and Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander) as well as people of two or more races. The Census Bureau also classified respondents as "Hispanic or Latino" or "Not Hispanic or Latino", identifying Hispanic and Latino as an ethnicity (not a race), which comprises the largest minority group in the nation. The United States Supreme Court unanimously held that "race" is not limited to Census designations on the "race question" but extends to all ethnicities, and thus can include Jewish, Arab, Hungarian, Laotian, Zulu, etc. The Census also asked an "Ancestry Question," which covers the broader notion of ethnicity, in the 2000 Census long form and the American Community Survey; the question will return in the 2020 Census. As of July 2016, White Americans are the racial majority. African Americans are the largest racial minority, comprising an estimated 12.7% of the population. Hispanic and Latino Americans are the largest ethnic minority, comprising an estimated 17.8% of the population. The White, non-Hispanic or Latino population make up 61.3% of the nation's total, with the total White population (including White Hispanics and Latinos) being 76.9%. White Americans are the majority in every census-defined region (Northeast, Midwest, South, West) and in every state except Hawaii, but contribute the highest proportion of the population in the Midwestern United States, at 85% per the Population Estimates Program (PEP) or 83% per the American Community Survey (ACS). Non-Hispanic Whites make up 79% of the Midwest's population, the highest ratio of any region. However, 35% of White Americans (whether all White Americans or non-Hispanic/Latino only) live in the South, the most of any region. Currently, 55% of the African American population lives in the South. A plurality or majority of the other official groups reside in the West. The latter region is home to 42% of Hispanic and Latino Americans, 46% of Asian Americans, 48% of American Indians and Alaska Natives, 68% of Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders, 37% of the "two or more races" population (Multiracial Americans), and 46% of those self-designated as "some other race". (en)
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  • Race and ethnicity in the United States is a complex topic because the United States of America has a racially and ethnically diverse population. At the federal level, race and ethnicity have been categorized separately. (en)
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  • Race and ethnicity in the United States (en)
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