The phrase 'Race/Ethnicity' or "Race/Ethnic Origin" is used throughout various data reporting. It just looks so odd with a '/' slash. Any alternatives? Here are a few examples of the slash in 'real life'

  • Why not just use one or the other if you don't like that slash? "Ethnic origin", though, it probably more appropriate since race is not really a well-defined construct.
    – stoicfury
    Commented Dec 5, 2011 at 18:57
  • 1
    I think this rather belongs to English Langusage & Usage.
    – Count Zero
    Commented Dec 5, 2011 at 19:08
  • @brian, consider rephrasing the question to ask if there is a better label for web forms or reports. The way you have it now does point to a question of English Usage.
    – Taj Moore
    Commented Dec 5, 2011 at 20:24
  • Agree, it's more of an English Language & Usage question, but the mods on that site aren't interested in having it migrated. Unless you have data showing that it's significant problem, I don't think it's worth worrying about. Commented Dec 5, 2011 at 21:28

2 Answers 2


Trying to be clever can sometimes be confusing.

If people are conditioned to see race, why break the convention?

Deferring to the Census Bureau, and how they present race:


  • For our certified emr, we had to list Ethnicity and Race separately, using those exact census descriptions.
    – LarsTech
    Commented Dec 5, 2011 at 20:06

Ethnicity is the proper term. But, to be perfectly honest, many people don't know what 'Ethnicity' means. Race is a far more common (if less accurate) word used to describe this. Combining the two words reaches the broadest audience, despite it's clunky nature.

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