In 2003, the Consumer Expenditure Survey (CE) modified the questions on race and Hispanic origin to comply with new standards for maintaining, collecting, and presenting Federal data on race and ethnicity for Federal statistical agencies. Beginning with the 2003 data, the CE tables use data collected from the new race and ethnicity questions. In addition to these changes, a more comprehensive review was undertaken to evaluate the classifications of published CE data with the goal of providing data users with additional information while maintaining data reliability and continuity with previously published data. As a result of this review and the new race and ethnicity changes, a number of new classifications of CE data are being made available with the publication of the 2003 data. A description of the changes for 2003 follows.
Race and ethnicity. In accordance with the new standards, the following changes were made to the CE questions:
As a result of the changes to the race and ethnicity questions, revisions were made to the CE published tables. Prior to 2003, CE data for race and Hispanic origin were included with housing tenure and type of area (urban-rural) in one table. Beginning in 2003, race and Hispanic origin are each shown in separate tables. The new definitions of race and Hispanic origin are included in the titles and column headings, so "Black" becomes "Black or African American," and "Hispanic" becomes "Hispanic or Latino." A new column for "Asian" is shown in the race table. In the "Hispanic or Latino" table, the "Not Hispanic or Latino" class is further divided into two classes: "White, Asian, and All Other Races", and "Black or African American." In order to compare 2003 and future data with earlier data, existing aggregations are maintained where possible. Therefore, the pre-2003 classes labeled "White and other" and "Black" have been kept with the new labels "White and All Other Races, and Asian" and "Black or African American." The 2003 data for race are by definition slightly different from data for earlier years due to the multi-race option. Approximately 1.3 percent of the CE reference persons selected more than one race. Also, the 2003 published tables are based on responses collected over the entire year and include a small percentage of answers using the old format. Because of the 3-month recall in the Interview Survey, the CE introduces changes to the questionnaire in April, not in January of any year. All respondents participating in the Interview Survey were asked the new race and ethnicity questions starting in April. A small portion of the sample had their last interview and rotated out of the survey in January through March 2003, so their race and ethnic origin were determined using the old definitions.
New data classifications beginning in 2003. The table review revealed that a number of additional data classes could be shown while maintaining the reliability of the data. Changes to existing tables and the addition of new tables include the following
The CE staff will continue to evaluate the CE data in the future to determine if additional data classifications can be shown under the continuing constraints of data reliability and confidentiality.
Last Modified Date: April 12, 2005