Friday, April 28, 2006

Two-thirds of American Indians say they are white? Perhaps being white is cooler than I thought. There are large numbers of Americans from groups we don't think of as white who identify their race as white on the General Social Survey.

Percent of certain ethnic groups who say they are white:

Arabic 75.0%
Mexicans 69.8
American Indians 68.4
Puerto Ricans 57.1
Other Spanish 56.4
Japanese 19.4
Filipinos 18.9
India 18.4
Chinese 8.0
West Indians 6.0

So most Arabs and Hispanics think they're white. I tell my Hispanic-dominated classes that it is ridiculous that the U.S. government often lumps them in with whites in its statistics, but maybe many think that is appropriate. And two-thirds of American Indians are white? Huh? These must be mixed people who choose white as race and AI as their ethnicity.



  1. Makes you think that some day these surveys will need to be done along with genetic testing to know the acutal racial makeup of people.

  2. It does not surprise me at all. I was involved with an Argentine woman and she saw herself as white and not as a Latina. Most of our friends, who were from Peru, Chile and Mexico also saw themselves as white. Actually they thought the term Latino was insulting.

  3. This is a bizarre study. 19% of Japanese people think of themselves as white? How did they determine they were Japanese in the first place?

  4. The GSS is a representative sample of people in America. They are respondents two questions: "What is your race?" and "What country does your family come from?" The choices for race were "white," "black," or "other."

    Some people may interpret the race question as a question about skin color. I noticed that some Eastern Indians said they were black.


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