Different countries formalize different racial categories.  Below are examples of the “race” questions on the Censuses of 9 different countries.   They illustrate just how diverse ideas about race are and challenge the notion that there is one “correct” question or set of questions.

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The categories in the drop down menu include:

White
Chinese
South Asian
Black Filipino
Latin American
Southeast Asian
Arab
West Asian
Japanese
Korean
Other

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The categories in the drop down menu include:

White
Black, African Am., or Negro
American Indian or Alaska Native
Asian Indian
Chinese
Filipino
Japanese
Korean
Vietnamese
Other Asian
Native Hawaiian
Guamanian or Chamorro
Samoan
Other Pacific Islander
Some other race

These images were borrowed from an American Anthropological Association website on race.

Lisa Wade is a professor of sociology at Occidental College and the co-author of Gender: Ideas, Interactions, Institutions. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.
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