Created Equal: Implications of the new ‘MENA’ category on the US Census

A new category for Americans of Middle Eastern or North African descent will be on the next U.S. census.

Until now, Americans whose heritage is in the Middle East and North Africa have long been considered “white” by the U.S. Census.  

But beginning in 2030, they will have their own ethnic category on the decennial population count.

Maya Berry, executive director of the Arab American Institute in Washington D.C., joined Stephen Henderson on Created Equal Tuesday to talk about what the new designation will mean to Americans in those communities, and what the implications might be for American demographics.  

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Maya Berry is the executive director of the Arab American Institute. She says these revisions are significant.

“… I was having a discussion earlier today with a group of colleagues [about the revisions to the race standards in the census] …We kind of came around to ‘is the glass half empty or is the glass half full?’ And I pointed out that for the first time ever my community has a glass,” Berry said. 

Listen to Created Equal with host Stephen Henderson weekdays from 9-10 a.m. ET on 101.9 WDET and streaming on-demand.

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