According to the responses given by the interviewees, the effect of having a multiracial category seems to be negative. This is evident from the percentage of the population that was identified as multiracial. They were two percent less compared to their counterparts (Kojetin & Tucker, 1996). Another issue was about how well this category was understood by the respondents. Multiracial category favored the Hispanics who rejected the existing racial options or by the non-Hispanics who reported as having multiple ethnicities. This proved that the inclusion of this category had a negative impact since many people did not like any association with it. Others like the Hispanics saw it as an option after rejecting the other racial options.
The inclusion of the Hispanic options in the questionnaire is not important since it appears that a majority of the Hispanic origin would decline the inclusion of that category on the question about race. If this ethnic/race origin is to be included, the ‘other’ or ‘something’ else category will not be selected/ chosen. However, most Hispanics favor the combined ethnic and race origin category format. They probably do so without understanding the potential impact of this format on the overall tallying of the Hispanic population. Also, features of the resulting Hispanic population may be different depending on whether the Hispanic origin is considered a separate category or combination of other race category. Further more, some groups of Hispanics and the Cubans might prefer to be identified as whites but not Hispanics only (if they have two options).
This questionnaire has a lot of complications. For instance, all choices from the preferred terms have been influenced by the terms asked in the questions of the two categories. For example, a good number of the Hispanics have chosen Hispanic, the whites have chosen white, and a majority of the blacks have chosen black (Kojetin & Tucker, 1996). Most blacks have preferred terms like ‘afro American’ or ‘African American’ while the minority of Alaska natives and American Indians have preferred a more generic term ‘Native American’. In the two cases, the terms used are preferred by many people hence, it is difficult to determine how strongly these preferences are held from the data collected.
Kojetin, B. & Tucker, C. (1996). Testing racial and ethnic origin questionsin the CPS supplement. Monthly Labor Review, 119, 3-7.