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About Minority Health
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Racial & Ethnic Minority Populations
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Racial and Ethnic Populations Collage Racial and Ethnic Populations Collage Racial and Ethnic Populations Collage

African American

     Alaska Native

           American Indian

               Asian American

Racial and Ethnic Populations Collage Racial and Ethnic Populations Collage Racial and Ethnic Populations Collage                     Black



Racial and Ethnic Populations Collage Racial and Ethnic Populations Collage Racial and Ethnic Populations Collage                 
               Native Hawaiian

          Pacific Islander



Racial & Ethnic Populations
  The United States has become increasingly diverse in the last century.  According to the 2000 U.S. Census, approximately 30 percent of the population currently belongs to a racial or ethnic minority group. The Census Bureau projects that by the year 2100, non-Hispanic whites will make up only 40 percent of the U.S. population.

Though health indicators such as life expectancy and infant mortality have improved for most Americans, minorities experience a disproportionate burden of preventable disease, death, and disability compared with non-minorities. These trends compel the public health community to examine issues of health disparity among the various racial and ethnic groups that comprise the country's population.

The Office of Minority Health (OMH) is charged with improving the health of racial and ethnic minority populations [American Indian & Alaska Native (AI/AN), Asian American, black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, and Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander (NHOPI)], and with reducing health disparities among Americans of all racial and ethnic backgrounds. Click on the links for more information about each of these groups.



Census Bureau, Census 2000 Brief: Overview of Race and Hispanic Origin, 2001.
Census Bureau Glossary of Terms: Race, 2000.
    Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Provisional Guidance on the Implementation of the 1997 Standards for Federal Data on Race and Ethnicity, 2000.
Office of Management and Budget Recommendations from the Interagency Committee for the Review of the Racial and Ethnic Standards to the Office of Management and Budget Concerning Changes to the Standards for the Classification of Federal Data on Race and Ethnicity, 1997.


Census 2000 adheres to the federal standards for collecting and presenting data on race and Hispanic origin as established by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in October 1997 and subsequent guidelines.  One of the most important changes for Census 2000 was the revision of the questions on race and Hispanic origin to better reflect the country’s growing diversity. The federal government considers race and Hispanic origin to be two separate and distinct concepts. In addition, Asian Americans and Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders are counted as two separate and distinct racial groups. Because of these changes, the Census 2000 data on race are not directly comparable with data from the 1990 census or earlier censuses. Caution must be used when interpreting changes in the racial composition of the U.S. population over time.



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Last Updated on November 03, 2004
Office of Minority Health

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