Journal of Official Statistics, Vol.24, No.1, 2008. pp. 1–11

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The Morris Hansen Lecture 2004 Bridging the Gap: Moving to the 1997 Standards for Collecting Data on Race and Ethnicity

The publication in 1997 by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) of revised standards for the collection of data on race and ethnicity affected the statistical system’s ability to maintain long-term trend statistics. The need for a mechanism to bridge between the 1977 and 1997 standards was also important for the calculation of rates where different standards were used in the data collection systems supplying the numerator and denominator data as was the case for vital rates at the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). In order to calculate valid race-specific rates, a bridging mechanism was developed that modified the population estimates using models that characterize the relationship between race reporting under the new and the old standard. Staff from throughout NCHS was involved in this project and it is their work that is reported in this article.

OMB standards; population estimates.

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