What is the Difference Between Race and Ethnicity?


The term race refers to a classification of modern human groups into distinct categories based on physical appearance, social factors and cultural backgrounds. People who discriminate against others based on their race are called racists.

Modern science rejects the idea of biologically innate differences among humans, but race has remained a powerful concept that influences how people think and act. Race can be a source of shame or self-loathing, but it can also inspire activism and pride. For example, many activists use their personal experiences with racism to motivate them in the fight for equality. Other people choose to celebrate their heritage and culture through events such as festivals and parades.

Racism is a complex issue that requires vigilance and action on behalf of all citizens, regardless of their racial identity. Educating yourself on the issues surrounding race and learning to recognize prejudice can help you be a more effective advocate for the causes of justice. For more information on these topics, check out our articles on racial identity and racial bias.

What is the difference between race and ethnicity?

The word “race” is a social construct, meaning it was developed as a way to classify and organize human societies. However, it is not the same as “ethnicity.”

Ethnicity is a collection of individual cultures that share similar languages, traditions and values. It is a broad category that includes many different countries and regions around the world. It is much more specific than a racial category, which is a more narrowly defined grouping that is usually determined by the skin color of a person’s body.

It is important to distinguish between the concepts of race and ethnicity because both have different impacts on the lives of people around the globe. While both are largely abstract concepts, they have enormous power in how societies operate and understand their citizens.

Historically, the racial categories used to describe people in censuses and surveys were based on the observation of government enumerators who filled out the forms. In many cases, the enumerators were white people who had little knowledge of other cultures. This caused significant inaccuracies in the data.

In the United States, racial groups are defined by a combination of sociocultural traits and physical features. The five racial groups that are currently used by the U.S. Census Bureau are White, Black or African American, American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, and Hispanic or Latino. These categories do not represent a biological or anthropological definition of race, but rather reflect the social categories that most Americans recognize as races.

The Census Bureau has a long history of conducting research to improve the questions and definitions that are used for collecting data on race. In particular, it has examined the validity of a number of suggested changes to the Census question on race. Ultimately, it is up to Congress and the President to decide whether the question should remain as it is, be modified or dropped altogether.