Reporting Race and Ethnicity

  • 23 March 2021
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Because of past inconsistency in how race and ethnicity have been reported, care should be taken in interpreting results.


Race and ethnicity are demographic fields available on Polco, but datasets can report the information in different ways. For example, depending on the answer fields available and their personal preference for reporting race, a person who is both Asian and White can report their race as:


  • White

  • Asian

  • Bi-racial

  • Multi-racial

  • Some other race, ethnicity or origin (this was more common before “multi-racial” was a standard field)

  • Prefer not to answer


As categories for race and ethnicity become more standardized, the data will become more standardized as well. However, given that our understanding of how people may self-identify by race has evolved, race data has variance and cannot be considered to be completely uniform at this time. If you have a topic that requires a high degree of confidence on race or ethnicity, consider asking it as a separate question on a Polco survey in addition to using the verified information available through the platform.  An easy way to do this is to use our pre-created demographic questions on race and ethnicity. This information will attach to the respondent’s account, making this data available for future surveys as well!

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