Race, Ethnicity, and Language Data: Standardization for Health Care Quality Improvement

Table 3-5: Comparison of Granular Ethnicity Categorization and Coding Systems

Category and Code Set Total Number of Categories Estimated Breakdown of Categories by OMB Race and Hispanic Ethnicity Category
CDC/HL7 Race and Ethnicity Code Set 1.0 (2000) Over 925 categories Over 800 American Indian or Alaska Native categories
21 White categories
19 Black or African American categories
24 Asian categories/codes categories
23 NHOPI categories
38 Hispanic or Latino categories
Census Ancestry Codes 993 categories 212 broad "ancestry descriptions"
Approximately 780 more detailed response categories
Massachusetts Superset 173 categories 31 major ethnicities categories
140 sub-ethnicities categories
Kaiser Permanente Granular Ethnicity (2009) 268 categories 59 American Indian or Alaska Native categories
206 additional ethnicities
Wisconsin Cancer Reporting System Code Manual (2008) 648 categories 371 American Indian or Alaska Native categories
129 White categories
37 Black or African American categories
41 NHOPI categories
14 Other Race categories
Contra Costa Health Plan Race and Ethnicity 143 categories 130 categories from the CDC/HL7 Code Set
9 additional ethnicity categories: American, Bosnian, Brazilian, Kurdish, Mixtec, Portuguese, Punjabi, Russian, and Yao, Mien

OMB = Office of Management and Budget
CDC/HL7 = Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/Health Level 7

Note: The estimated categories in the third column may not equal the total number of categories in the middle column due to additional response and coding options such as Unknown, Declined, and Unavailable.

Sources: CDC, 2000; Kaiser Permanente, 2009; Taylor-Clark, 2009; Tiutin, 2009; U.S. Census Bureau, 2005; Wisconsin Cancer Reporting System, 2008.

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Page last reviewed October 2014
Internet Citation: Table 3-5: Comparison of Granular Ethnicity Categorization and Coding Systems. October 2014. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/research/findings/final-reports/iomracereport/reldata3tab3-5.html