Race: Race is defined as a social construct that broadly categorizes people based on shared, distinctive physical traits. Race does not have a genetic basis; however, a person’s race carries significant social implications, depending on the person’s local community.
The United States government formally recognizes seven different races: White, Black or African American, Asian, American Indian and Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, or “other.” People are often given the choice to self-identify as more than one race. Racial categories may differ by nation or governmental authority.
Ethnicity: Ethnicity or ethnic background is defined as the shared culture, language, religion, race, and/or other characteristics of a large social group. Ethnicity is broader than race, and more readily adopted or denied as part of a person’s identity.
The United States government formally recognizes two ethnicities: Hispanic or Latino, and not Hispanic or Latino. Ethnic categories may differ by nation or governmental authority.