Empowering New York’s Asian American Community Since 1989

AAF Statement on “Middle Eastern or North African” Census Category

The Asian American Federation (AAF), as the sole Census Information Center for the Asian community in the Northeast, celebrates a significant milestone in the U.S. Census: the inclusion of new response options for ‘Middle Eastern or North African’ (MENA) and ‘Hispanic or Latino.’ This development marks a crucial step forward in accurately capturing the rich diversity of our communities. The census is more than data—it drives visibility, representation, and empowerment. By adding ‘Middle Eastern or North African’ as a category, the Census recognizes the diverse identities within our nation, and commits to ensuring that accurate data tells our story, brings resources into our communities, shapes our future, and secures our rightful place in the national conversation.