Boston University Study Finds Shortcomings in Federal Data Collection on Race

A new report from the Center for Antiracist Research at Boston University aims to highlight the nation’s race and ethnicity data shortcomings — and offers solutions for fixing them. The report, “Toward Evidence-Based Antiracist Policymaking: Problems and Proposals for Better Racial Data Collection and Reporting,” emphasizes the need for a robust and standardized system of racial data collection and reporting.

The report notes that existing race and ethnicity data collection efforts are riddled with gaps and errors, including missing and incomplete data, insufficiently disaggregated data, lack of meaningful longitudinal data, infrequently updated data, non-standardized methodologies, and other problems. These issues make it more difficult to understand where and how racism manifests, which hampers the creation of evidence-based, antiracist policy responses.

“Tracking data is not the only way to do this work, but data is a powerful tool that can reveal many effects of racism, including through the study of racial and ethnic disparities in access to resources and exposure to harms. This is why it is so important to start with good data,” explains Neda Khoshkhoo, lead author of the report and associate director of policy at the Center for Antiracist Research.

Professor Jasmine Gonzales Rose, one of the co-authors, adds that “the collection of racial demographic data is essential to track and respond to racism in our society – without racial data, there is an erasure of racial disparities. We simply need racial data to root out racial injustice.”

The report recommends the government use financial incentives to nudge states and localities into timely and accurate data collection, create an external oversight board to make sure data is used responsibly, and to monitor noncompliance, and review and update current race and ethnicity data standards.


Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Get the JBHE Weekly Bulletin

Receive our weekly email newsletter delivered to your inbox

Latest News

Yale Issues Formal Apology After Research Finds Historic Ties to Slavery

"Today, on behalf of Yale University, we recognize our university’s historical role in and associations with slavery, as well as the labor, the experiences, and the contributions of enslaved people to our university’s history, and we apologize for the ways that Yale’s leaders, over the course of our early history, participated in slavery," says Yale University President Peter Salovey, and Josh Bekenstein, senior trustee of the Yale Corporation.

Kean University Establishes New Center for Africana Studies

“This new center epitomizes the university’s commitment to equity and to serving our state, particularly our urban communities,” said Kean University president Lamont Repollet. 

Pew Research Center Provides Insight into Share of Black-Owned Businesses in the United States

Through analyzing data from the United States Census Bureau and the National Science Foundation, the Pew Research Center found that Black-owned businesses make up 3 percent of companies and earn 1 percent of gross revenue in the United States.

Martin Lemellle Appointed the Eleventh President of Grambling State University

Dr. Martin Lemelle has been serving as executive vice president and chief financial officer at the Maryland Institute College of Art.

Featured Jobs