Race Definitions

Following are a sampling of characteristics of race definitions. These definitions are from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The concept of race as used by the Census Bureau reflects self-identification; it does not denote any clear-cut scientific definition of biological stock. The data for race represent self-classification by people according to the race with which they most closely identify. It is recognized that the categories of the race item, include both racial and national origin or socio-cultural groups.

If a person could not provide a single response to the race question on the census form, he or she was asked to select the group which best described his or her racial identity. If unable to do so, the race of the mother was used. If a race could not be provided for the person’s mother, the first race reported by the person was used. In all cases where occupied housing units, households, or families are classified by race, the race of the householder was used.


White:  Includes persons who indicated their race as “White” or reported entries such as Canadian, German, Italian, Lebanese, Near Easterner, Arab, or Polish.


Black:  Includes persons who indicated their race as “Black or Negro” or reported entries such as African American, Afro-American, Black Puerto Rican, Jamaican, Nigerian, West Indian, or Haitian.


American Indian, Eskimo, or Aleut:  American Indian includes persons who indicated their race as “American Indian,” entered the name of an Indian Tribe, or reported such entries as Canadian Indian, French-American Indian, or Spanish-American Indian. Persons who identified themselves as American Indian were also asked to report their enrolled or principal tribe. Therefore, tribal data in tabulations reflect the written tribal entries reported on the questionnaires.

Eskimo includes persons who indicated their race as “Eskimo” or reported entries such as Arctic Slope, Inupiat, or Yupik.

Aleut includes persons who indicated their race as “Aleut” or reported entries such as Alutiiq, Egegik, and Pribilovian.


Asian or Pacific Islander:  Includes persons who reported in one of the Asian or Pacific Islander groups listed on the questionnaire or provided responses such as Thai, Nepali, or Tongan.

Asian includes Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Asian, Indian, Korean, Vietnamese, Cambodian, Hmong, Laotian, Thai, Other Asian.

Pacific Islander includes Hawaiians (part and Native), Samoan, Guamanian, Other Pacific Islander.


Other Race:  Includes all other persons not included in the “White, Black, American Indian, Eskimo or Aleut, and Asian or Pacific Islander” race categories. Persons reporting in the “Other Race” category and providing write-in entries such as multiracial, multi ethnic, mixed, interracial, Wesort, or a Spanish/Hispanic origin group (such as Mexican, Cuban, or Puerto Rican) are included.


Income Definitions

Following are a sampling of characteristics of income and income type definitions. These definitions are from the U.S. Census Bureau.


Income:  Information on money income received in the calendar year 1989 was requested from persons 15 years old and over. “Total Income” is the algebraic sum of the eight types of income reported in the census: wage or salary; non-farm self-employment; farm self-employment; interest, dividend or net rental; Social Security; public assistance; retirement or disability; and all other.

Household Income:  Includes the income of the householder and all other persons 15 years old and over in the household, whether related to the householder or not. Because many households consist of only one person, average household income is usually less than average family income.

Family Income:  The incomes of all family members 15 years old and over in the household are summed and treated as a single amount.

Median Income:   The median divides the income distribution into two equal parts, with the midpoint representing the point at which half the incomes fall above the median and the other half below the median. When calculating the median income of households and families, the distribution includes units with no income. The median for persons is based only on persons with income.

Mean Income:  Mean household income is obtained by dividing total household income by the total number of households.

Per Capita Income:  The mean income computed for every man, woman, and child in a particular group. Per capita income is derived by dividing the total income of a particular group by the total population in that group.



Wage or Salary Income:  Includes total money earnings received for work performed as an employee during the calendar year 1989. It includes wages, salary, Armed Forces pay, commissions, tips, piece-rate payments, and cash bonuses earned before deductions were made for taxes, bonds, pensions, union dues, etc.

Nonfarm Self-Employment Income:  Includes net money income (gross receipts minus expenses) from one’s own business, professional enterprise, or partnership. Gross receipts include the value of all goods sold and services rendered. Expenses includes costs of goods purchased, rent, heat, light, power, depreciation charges, wages and salaries paid, business taxes (not personal income taxes), etc.

Farm Self-Employment Income:  Includes net money income (gross receipts minus operating expenses) from the operation of a farm by a person on his or her own account, as an owner, renter, or sharecropper. Gross receipts include the value of all products sold, government farm programs, money received from the rental of farm equipment to others, and incidental receipts from the sale of wood, sand, gravel, etc. Operating expenses include cost of feed, fertilizer, seed, and other farming supplies, cash wages paid to farmhands, depreciation charges, cash rent, interest on farm mortgages, farm building repairs, farm taxes (not State and Federal personal income taxes), etc. The value of fuel, food, or other farm products used for family living is not included as part of net income.

Interest, Dividend, or Net Rental Income:  Includes interest on savings or bonds, dividends from stock holdings or membership in associations, net income from rental of property to others and receipts from boarders or lodgers, net royalties, and periodic payments from an estate or trust fund.

Social Security Income:  Includes Social Security pensions and survivors benefits and permanent disability insurance payments made by the Social Security Administration prior to deductions for medical insurance, and railroad retirement insurance checks from the U.S. Government. Medicare reimbursements are not included.

Public Assistance Income:  Includes (1) supplementary security income payments made by Federal or State welfare agencies to low income persons who are aged (65 years old and over), blind, or disabled; (2) aid to families with dependent children, and (3) general assistance. Separate payments received for hospital or other medical care (vendor payments) are excluded from this item.

Retirement or Disability Income:  Includes (1) retirement pensions and survivor benefits from a former employer, labor union, or Federal, State, county, or other governmental agency; (2) disability income from sources such as workers’ compensation; companies or unions; Federal, State, or local government; and the U.S. military; (3) periodic receipts from annuities and insurance; and (4) regular income from IRA and KEOGH plans.

All Other Income:  Includes unemployment compensation, Veterans Administration (VA) payments, alimony and child support, contributions received periodically from persons not living in the household, military family allotments, net gambling winnings, and other kinds of periodic income other than earnings.

Source: 1990 Census