Tools and Tips for Collecting and Analyzing Racial and Ethnic Data

Posted December 7, 2016
By the Annie E. Casey Foundation
Blog bythenumberswebinar 2016

Poli­cies, pro­grams and leg­is­la­tion designed to help reduce inequities between chil­dren of col­or and their white coun­ter­parts should be informed by com­pre­hen­sive, up-to-date data. So how can researchers, leg­is­la­tors and advo­cates address racial dis­crim­i­na­tion and inequities when access to racial and eth­nic data pro­vid­ed by pub­lic insti­tu­tions is often either lim­it­ed or too broad in scope?

Ali­cia Van Orman, from the Pop­u­la­tion Ref­er­ence Bureau, shared tech­niques and resources for col­lect­ing pub­li­cal­ly-avail­able data and dis­ag­gre­gat­ing it by race dur­ing a recent webi­nar — By the Num­bers: Part Two” — for the KIDS COUNT net­work.

Lis­ten to a record­ing of By The Num­bers: Part Two”

Using dis­ag­gre­gat­ed data allows researchers to uncov­er pat­terns or oth­er infor­ma­tion that could lead to tar­get­ed and effi­cient invest­ments. Col­lect­ing and ana­lyz­ing data dis­ag­gre­gat­ed by race is also the first rec­om­men­da­tion from the 2014 KIDS COUNT pol­i­cy report, Race for Resultsand the sub­ject of a recent Casey Foun­da­tion case study, By the Num­bers: A Race for Results Case Study.

Dur­ing the webi­nar, Dr. Orman pro­vid­ed a num­ber of insights on how racial data is processed by gov­ern­ment insti­tu­tions, includ­ing how eth­nic­i­ty is sep­a­rate and dis­tinct from race in data col­lec­tion and why racial cat­e­gories can be sub­ject to change over time.

She also pro­vid­ed sev­er­al rec­om­men­da­tions for online data­bas­es and how to extract race and eth­nic­i­ty data in regions with small pop­u­la­tions, such as rur­al communities.

The KIDS COUNT net­work, which con­sists of orga­ni­za­tions in all 50 states, the Dis­trict of Colum­bia, Puer­to Rico and the U.S. Vir­gin Islands, have gath­ered and dis­sem­i­nat­ed more data on child well-being sort­ed by race and eth­nic­i­ty since the release of the orig­i­nal Race for Results pol­i­cy report. That data can be accessed through the KIDS COUNT Data Cen­ter.

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