Demographic projections: The “Asian” category includes the residents of the Pacific Islands; other races are less than 1 percent of the total.
Since 1978, the U.S. federal government, with its Federal Directive No. 15, has officially recognized four ethnic and racial groups.
1. American Indian or Alaskan Native: A person having origins in any of the original peoples of North America and who maintains cultural identification through tribal affiliation or community recognition.
2. Asian or Pacific Islander: A person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent, or the Pacific Islands. This area includes, for example, China, India, Japan, Korea, the Philippine Islands, and Samoa.
3. Black: A person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa.
4. Hispanic: A person of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Central or South American, or other Spanish-speaking culture or origin, regardless of race. The term Hispanic is the one used officially by the federal authorities (census data, forms, etc.), but the community often prefers the termLatino, which sounds less European. The U.S. government considers Hispanics as an ethnic group, which means there are white Hispanics and those of darker skin color.
Federal Directive No. 15 was revised at the beginning of the year 2000 to include five racial categories by dividing the second category as follows: Asians on the one side and on the other Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders.