ADC Formally Recommends Census Include MENA in 2030 Census

ADC Formally Recommends Census Include MENA in 2030 Census

Washington, D.C. | | November 15, 2022 – The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) has responded to the US Census Bureau‘s request for recommendations on ways to improve the 2030 Census. The formal comment explained the multiple ways that the next Census could be improved, but all were underpinned by a single, necessary addition to the Questionnaire: a Middle East and North Africa (MENA) ethnic category.

Click HERE to Read ADC’s Submission!

ADC has argued for decades that the federal government generally, and the Census specifically, has rendered the Arab community invisible by grouping it with the broader “White/Caucasian” racial group. A social and political currency like no other, to be “White” in the US is to be free from the presumption that you are foreign or inferior, a presumption that is not granted to Arabs. The historical popular and governmental demonization of Arabs has framed the community as political pariahs and national security threats, a dangerous misidentification of a community that is just as American as any other.

This inaccurate classification has had profound impacts on our community’s political representation, our access to necessary government services, and the medical community’s understanding of what health issues we face that are different from other groups. The Census that occurs every 10 years is the single greatest accounting of those who live in the United States, and throughout its history has never considered that Arab Americans are a unique piece of the American fabric.


TODAY is the last day that anyone can submit a comment to the Census Bureau! Follow the steps below to make sure that they hear from you!

1. Use THIS LINK to go to the comment submission form.

2. Click “Submit a Formal Comment” at the top right of your screen.

3. Copy and paste this text into the box marked “Comment”:

Nearly four million Americans trace their familial roots to an Arab country, and yet when it comes to being recognized by government agencies like the Census Bureau many of us believe that those roots might as well be invisible. Arab Americans, whose ethnic background spans the geography of the Middle East and North Africa, are completely ignored in the process that decides political representation, federal funding, and medical research. The Census’ categorization of Arab Americans incorrectly shoe horns a diverse racial community into a single white racial category, eliminating our community’s presence and impact on the national fabric. That is why the Census Bureau must add a Middle East and North Africa (MENA) ethnic category to the 2030 Decennial Census.

Many Arab Americans may identify as a race, and it is our ethnicity that makes us unique. It is that marker which is eliminated by being forcibly, and solely, categorized as white. By adding a MENA ethnic category the Census Bureau will be able to energize and engage the Arab American community, ensuring a more accurate count. It would not be accurate to say that our community is underrepresented as we are not represented at all, and the next Census has the chance to change that.

4. Click “Submit Comment”

ADC thanks all who submit comments in support of a MENA ethnic category, and commits to continuing to work with the Census Bureau to ensure that the Arab community is accurately accounted for in the 2030 Census.

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