Ethnic Classification in Global Perspective: A Cross-National Survey of the 2000 Census Round

Ann Morning

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    Many if not most countries around the world categorize their inhabitants by race, ethnicity and/or national origins when it comes time to conduct a census. In an unpublished survey of census questionnaires, the United Nations found that 65 % enumerated their populations by national or ethnic group (United Nations Statistics Division 2003). However, this statistic encompasses a wide diversity of approaches to ethnic classification, as evinced by the spectrum of terms employed; ‘race,’ ‘ethnic origin,’ ‘nationality,’ ‘ancestry’ and ‘indigenous,’ ‘tribal’ or ‘aboriginal’ group all serve to draw distinctions within the national population. The picture is further complicated by the ambiguity of the meanings of these terms: what is called ‘race’ in one country might be labelled ‘ethnicity’ in another, while ‘nationality’ means ancestry in some contexts and citizenship in others. Even within the same country, one term can take on several connotations, or several terms may be used interchangeably.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Title of host publicationIMISCOE Research Series
    PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media B.V.
    Number of pages21
    StatePublished - 2015

    Publication series

    NameIMISCOE Research Series
    ISSN (Print)2364-4087
    ISSN (Electronic)2364-4095


    • Ethnic Nationality
    • Indigenous Group
    • Indigenous Status
    • National Census
    • United Nation Statistical Division

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Political Science and International Relations
    • Sociology and Political Science
    • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


    Dive into the research topics of 'Ethnic Classification in Global Perspective: A Cross-National Survey of the 2000 Census Round'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this