What do the terms race and ethnicity mean to you? Why are these concepts important to United States society? Race is usually defined by the color of a person’s skin such as black, or white. These words are used very frequently. Ethnicity is a more proper way to define us as people and usually refers to our cultural background/ancestry. For example: Africans, African Americans, Caucasians, and Hispanics. These concepts are important to the United States because of the diversity, and all walks of life, census plays a big role. Our ethnicity/race is what distinctively separates us from one another by groups. Also according to (Office Of Management and budget August 28,1995) In 1977, OMB issued the Race and Ethnic Standards for Federal Statistics and Administrative Reporting that are set forth in Statistical Policy Directive No. 15. The standards in this Directive have been used for almost two decades throughout the Federal government for recordkeeping, collection, and presentation of data on race and Hispanic origin. The standards have been used in two decennial censuses and in surveys of the population, data collections necessary for meeting statutory requirements associated with civil rights monitoring and enforcement, and in other administrative program reporting. Data collection agencies have legislative authority to collect racial and ethnic data needed for Federal programs and in the case of the decennial census, for redistricting. They also use racial and ethnic data for analyses of social, economic, and health trends for population groups. Basically it is important for them to collect this info for federal, business, and statistical reasons.