Note on the Racial/Ethnic Composition of the U.S. Young Adult Population


Humanities Indicators (HI) staff tabulated the following estimates of the share of the college age population (20–29 years old) in each of the categories employed by the HI (estimates are for July 1, 2015):

African American, Non-Hispanic: 14.4%

Asian or Pacific Islander: 6.3%

Hispanic: 18.1%

Native American or Alaska Native: 0.8%

White: 55.4%

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder,

“Annual Estimates of the Resident Population by Sex, Age, Race, and Hispanic Origin for the United States and States: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015 (PEPASR6H),”, accessed 3/15/2017.

Crosswalk Relating the Census Bureau–Defined Race and Ethnicity Categories and the Categories Employed by the HI*

HI Categories 

Census Bureau–Defined Categories

“African American, Non-Hispanic”

“Not Hispanic, Black alone”

“Asian or Pacific Islander”

“Not Hispanic, Asian alone” and “Not Hispanic, Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone”


“Hispanic, White alone”

“Native American or Alaska Native”

“Not Hispanic, American Indian and Alaska Native alone”


“Not Hispanic, White alone”

* Unlike Census categories, the categories used by the HI, which are those found in WebCASPAR (classification variable: “Race Ethnicity (standardized)”), are mutually exclusive. For the purposes of the HI analysis, degree completers indicating that they are more than one race are included in the “Other/Unknown Races and Ethnicities” category.

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