07
Jan

Make Sure Iranian Americans Are Counted

January 7, 2015, Washington, D.C. – In October of 2014, the U.S. Census Bureau announced it will test a new Middle Eastern or North African (MENA) ethnic category as part of its mid-decade research for possible inclusion in the 2020 Census.  The Census Bureau is now soliciting public comments in the Federal Register on the MENA category.  

The MENA category on the 2015 pilot test will consist of a “Middle Eastern or North African” check box, following a space below for respondents to write in their specific ethnicity or origin.  The test lists six examples including, Iranian, Egyptian, and Lebanese.

Census figures are used as benchmarks for businesses, professional organizations, and government officials in determining how services are allocated.  Having an accurate count of the Iranian American community will translate into increased influence and recognition within American society.

News of the MENA category pilot test is a success for the Iranian American community, which has been trying to secure an accurate count of our community in the U.S. Census since 2010.  A MENA category in the 2020 Census will increase the accuracy of ethnicity reporting as well as better reflect self-identity of respondents. 

The Census Bureau needs positive feedback from the public in order to proceed with their 2015 MENA category test. 

PAAIA strongly encourages the Iranian American community to promote the inclusion of the MENA category by writing a letter of support to the Census Bureau.

Take Action Today!  Simply add your name and contact information to the link below and your letter of support will be sent to the Federal Register.   

Tell the Census Bureau that you support the MENA category in 2020 Census.  

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