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 and Arab as well as Polish or Italian or Irish, etc. In fact, the Census asks an "Ancestry Question" which covers the broader notion of ethnicity initially in the 2000 Census long form and now in the American Community Survey. The ancestry question will return in the 2020 Census.
As of July 2016, White Americans are the racial majority. African Americans are the largest racial minority, amounting to an estimated 12.7% of the population. Hispanic and Latino Americans amount to an estimated 17.8% of the total U.S. population, making up the largest ethnic minority. 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%.
Two or more races, widely known as multiracial: those who check off and/or write in more than one race. There is no option labelled "two or more races" or "multiracial" on census and other forms; people who report more than one of the foregoing six options are classified as people of "two or more races" in subsequent processing. Any respondent may identify with any number, up to all six, of the racial categories.
Each person has two identifying attributes, racial identity and whether or not they are of Hispanic ethnicity. These categories are sociopolitical constructs and should not be interpreted as being scientific or anthropological in nature. They have been changed from one census to another, and the racial categories include both "racial" and national-origin groups.
The question on Hispanic or Latino origin is separate from the question on race.Hispanic and Latino Americans have ethnic origins in the countries of Latin America, Spain, and Portugal. Latin American countries are, like the United States, racially diverse. Consequently, no separate racial category exists for Hispanic and Latino Americans, as they do not constitute a race, nor a national group. When responding to the race question on the census form, each person is asked to choose from among the same racial categories as all Americans, and are included in the numbers reported for those races.