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Question: Who Are You?

Answer: "It depends on the day, and it depends on the options."   The New York Times reviews the increasing fluidity of racial and ethnic identities.  Says the article;
"According to estimates from the Census Bureau, the mixed-race population has grown by roughly 35 percent since 2000.

"And many researchers think the census and other surveys undercount the mixed population.

"The 2010 mixed-race statistics will be released, state by state, over the first half of the year.

“There could be some big surprises,” said Jeffrey S. Passel, a senior demographer at the Pew Hispanic Center, meaning that the number of mixed-race Americans could be high. “There’s not only less stigma to being in these groups, there’s even positive cachet.”
Why might this matter to health care marketers?  Right off the bat, it complicates the interpretation of census data.  Demographic targeting, common in health care, relies on differences, on segments being either this or that but seldom neither and never both.  Segments are marketers' shorthand, i.e. convenient methods of using who we are to predict how we'll act.   You look this way, you'll act that way, or so the story goes.

Not any more.  Race will not automatically tell the whole story for someone checking "...Hispanic, white, Asian American, Native American, pretty much everything.." on a census form.

The lines are blurred.  Smart marketers love blurry lines!

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