Race, Ethnicity, and Nationality

Race, Ethnicity, and Nationality

One race variable is available for each respondent in the Older and Young Men cohorts. Nationality of the respondent was created from data collected on parents' and grandparents' birthplaces. Note: Although race of all household members was collected in the initial screening, those data never became part of the data set.


In the Older and Young Men cohorts, 'Race' (R00023. for both cohorts) is a three-category variable (black, white, and other) available for the respondent only and, in general, is derived from the household screening. According to the Current Population Survey Interviewer's Reference Manual (Census 1962) in use at the time of the screening, race was to be determined by interviewer observation. Interviewers were instructed to code Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, and other Latin Americans as "white" unless they were obviously of another race and were to include Japanese, Chinese, American Indian, Korean, Hindu, Eskimo, etc. in the "other" category. Table 1 presents a distribution of race by nationality for the Older and Young Men. At the time of the first survey of each cohort, race information for each respondent was manually transferred to the questionnaire from information that had been entered on the Household Record Cards during the 1966 household screening. (Only in the case of the creation of a new household, where a respondent had moved out of the household in which he was living at the time of the screening, would the interviewer fill out a new Household Record Card, in which case all household member information would be newly recorded.)

Table 1. Race by Nationality: Older and Young Men

Nationality1 Older Men Young Men
Total Non-black Black Total Non-black Black
US or Canada 2877 1588 1289 3939 2527 1412
North or West Europe 1049 1044 5 86 80 6
Central or East Europe 364 363 1 523 520 3
South Europe 250 248 2 307 307 0
Latin America 39 37 2 252 251 1
Other 117 100 17 106 94 12
NA 324 220 104 12 8 4
Total 5020 3600 1420 5225 3787 1438
1 Countries included in each category are listed in Table 2. The U.S. and Canada category appears over-represented because nationality was based on birthplace of parents and grandparents, so it includes all whose parents and grandparents were born in the U.S. or Canada.


The variable 'Nationality of R,' created during the initial survey year, is available for each respondent (R00584. for the Older Men and R00625. for the Young Men). The nationality of the Young Men respondents was derived from the first parent or grandparent born outside of the U.S. and Canada using the following decision rules: if the father was born outside of the U.S. and Canada, his nationality was assigned to the respondent; if he was born inside the U.S. and Canada but the respondent's mother was not, her nationality was assigned to the respondent; and so forth. The derivation of the Older Men nationality is suspected to be similar, but it is unclear at this time. Categories for both cohorts include U.S. or Canada, North or West Europe, Central or East Europe, South Europe, Latin America, and other. There are no separate categories for Asian or African countries. Specific countries included in each category are not listed in the codebook with the nationality variable but are included in Table 2.

Table 2. Country Codes for the Nationality Variables

Coding Category Countries
North or West Europe Austria, Belgium, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland (Eire), Luxembourg, Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Norway, Scotland, Sweden, Switzerland, Wales, Yugoslavia
Central or East Europe Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, USSR
South Europe Andorra, Azores, Gibraltar, Gozo, Greece, Italy, Liechtenstein, Malta, Monaco, Portugal, San Marino, Spain, Trieste, Vatican City
Latin America Mexico, Central America, South America

Related Topics: A single 1966 variable identifies whether the birthplace of Young Men respondents was in the United States (R00380.). 'Which Foreign Language Spoken Regularly in Household When R Was Age 15' (R03691.) is available for the Young Men in 1971.

Survey Instruments & Documentation: Race was recorded on Household Record Card form LGT-1, which was used at the time of the 1966 screening and the initial interview, and was manually transferred to the first page of the initial year's questionnaire. Birthplace was collected in the "Family Background" section of each cohort's initial year's questionnaire.

The Young Men codebook contains information on the specific derivation of the nationality variable.


Census Bureau. "Current Population Survey and Housing Vacancy Survey: Interviewer's Reference Manual." Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Commerce, 1962.